Album Review: Cashier No.9 - To The Death of Fun
Listening to Belfast's Cashier No.9, it’s hard to believe that frontman Danny Todd once plied his trade as one-third of mid-noughties electro rockers Alloy Mental. A few years later and, having swapped techno beats for sun-drenched melodies, Todd and his new cohorts have just released their debut LP on Bella Union – the misleadingly-titled To The Death of Fun.
Once you get past the intro to album-opener ‘Goldstar’ – which sounds a bit like it belongs in a lighthearted mid-afternoon TV programme – Todd’s vocals ease you in to an upbeat, summery tune that can’t help but warm your heart. With the lightest of keys from Ronan Quinn and a swishing of Philip Duffy's drums adding to the band's already radio-friendly sound, the death of fun couldn’t be further from your mind.
At times here Cashier No.9 are so straight-down-the-middle positive, they perhaps run the risk of being dismissed as 'wishy-washy' by hardened cynics. That would be unfair, however. This is melodic rock at its most direct and unpretentious that will send your mind wandering off to a fondly-remembered summer holiday or a barbecue in a sunny back garden.
With fellow Northerner David Holmes on production duties, the group's wavy guitars and soft, eminently hummable choruses sail most strongly on current single ‘Lost At Sea’. It's a clever, interesting and intelligently put-together piece of music that laps around your toes so pleasantly you could leave it on repeat all day.
If there's one criticism that might be levelled at this debut, it's that it does have a slight tendency to lose its way on occasion. ‘Good Human’, for instance, is a lulling number that sadly struggles to satisfy the thirst; but any low-points are swiftly countered by the likes of ‘Oh Pity’, which romps to a powerful crest after a slow build.
With To The Death of Fun, Cashier No.9 have crafted a beautiful piece of summer indie pop. And while we won't quite raise our glasses in the manner its title suggests, we'll certainly drink to this being just the beginning for the band.