Cub Sport know how to hit you in the feels every damn time. Finding comfort in the contrast of light and shade, ‘Like Nirvana’ not only cites the hopeful romanticism you’ve come to know and love from the Brisbane four-piece, but it also hears him opening up about his demons, and the internal dark side we all face during our own self-discovery journeys.
This contrast is immediately highlighted as the band transitions from the repeated “I love you” intro to the self-identity questioning ‘Confessions’. Beginning very moody and gritty with atmospheric buzzing synths, guitar and drums are then layered within the very garage rock aesthetic.
After unravelling such personal and vulnerable admissions in quite a in-your-face manner, they then slide into a dreamier sonic with the soothing ‘My Dear (Can I Tell You My Greatest Fears)’ and ‘I Feel Like I Am Changin’ that continue to grasp onto those similar feelings.
The album then begins to shift with the inclusion of ‘Drive’ which gives you a straight up love song that sonically embraces simplicity, and feels like ultra smooth velvet. But ‘Be Your Man’ quickly steals it’s thunder and becomes one of the albums clear highlights.
Intertwining the love and identity themes together, this song hears them singing about what their gender means in a relationship and what their role entitles. “What does it mean for me to be your man. Baby I’m feeling weak baby I can’t stand this feeling anymore” Nelson honestly sings.
Mallrat joins them on ‘Break Me Down’ for a seven minute personal breakthrough while ‘Nirvana’ and ‘Saint’ hears them getting a little grittier with the production again. And it’s in this song where they give the vividly charged lyric; “I’m trying to figure out what the darkness means when it’s in your eyes”.
‘Best Friend’ is an upbeat homage to Nelson’s relationship with bandmate/husband Sam Netterfield, and it will immediately become a song that you will be itching to witness live. It’s such a hopeful pop moment that will have you feeling all giddy inside.
Bringing it back to the dreamy soundscape, ‘Be Your Angel’ and ‘Grand Canyon’ cinematically close the album with a whole lot of emotions. With Nelson’s soaring ethereal vocals cemented in your mind, this was the only way to perfectly close the record.
Leaving you wanting to press replay again, ‘LIKE NIRVANA’ is a cohesive collection from start to finish. It’s a journey of self reflection, growth and discovery. It’s a record that embraces love and hope, but not just romantically, but also in the personal love that we should learn to have for ourselves.
This is Cub Sport’s most personal body of work yet, and it will have you entranced throughout the whole duration. Prepare to immerse yourself in a world of self-reflection.