Cult of Youth: Love Will Prevail
Sean Ragon has been active in the DIY punk, industrial and experimental music communities on the east coast for over 15 years while also runing a record store and label in Brooklyn (Heaven Street and Blind Prophet Records, respectively). He has been recording under the moniker of Cult of Youth for the last five years.For this album, Ragon built his own recording studio from scratch in the back of his record store. This allowed him to control every aspect of the album and to take his time recording; he plays five different instruments on LWP and also engineered and mixed the album by himself. The record features contributions from Glenn Maryansky on drums and Christiana Key on violin as well as percussion from the enigmatic ning nong and female vocals from former Battletorn vocalist Beverly Hames. For long time fans of the project, Love Will Prevail sees the marriage of the spontaneity of the earlier releases with the better recording quality of the more recent eponymous lP. This album expands on the psychedelic neofolk foundation of the early work and adds lush atmospheres not dissimilar from Austrian post- industrial futurists Nový Sve?t (or even the more haunting side of late-60s Miles Davis). There is also an intentional nod to the Crass Records bands that influenced Ragon as a teenager and a tasteful hint of Velvet Underground worship. The lyrical content is also fairly politically charged this time around, and serves as a plea for peace in a world gone mad.
Cult of Youth: Cult of Youth
Born out of a love for the post-industrial music and culture that had inspired him ever since he had first discovered music as a teenager, Cult of Youth began as a series of home recordings by founder Sean Ragon. Last year Ragon added three permanent members to the line-up: performance artist/ director/ painter/ occult scholar Micki Pellerano on bass, machinist drummer Glenn Maryanski, and the violin virtuoso/ goddess Christiana Key. (Key’s brilliant string arrangements were recently featured on new Zola Jesus single “Poor Animal”). This album, their first as a proper band, produced by Chris Coady and mixed by Kevin Mcmahon (Swans producer) is an amazing representation of how ideal this new full band line-up is. It is a neo-folk masterpiece, perhaps the first of its kind from an American band. Although still rooted in the acoustic guitar driven Teutonic chants of the early material, the focus has changed and the scope is broader. Cult of Youth shifts from delicate pagan folk music reminiscent of Paul Giovanni’s landmark soundtrack to The Wicker Man, to hazy Turkish psychedelic passages, and even to the rugged Americana of traditional country music. This debut is an unapologetic and unabashed search for a spiritual identity in an increasingly homogenized world. It serves as a clear and thorough introduction for all the burgeoning dark punks out there who wanna go a bit deeper but haven’t yet figured out where to start.