The Cults' highly hyped debut album begs the question: is it worth the attention? Well, it's a yes & a no. It's an unqualified yes to the songs, the vocals & the arrangements. The compositions are not only good but in some cases quite exceptional & the echo-plastered vocals have an affecting oriental flavour which I find very pleasing indeed. So far so good, then. So why the no? Because all of this combo's obvious potential is severely compromised by one of the most kack-handed & woefully misguided productions that I've heard in my life. The production is, simply, awful. The master tracks have been subjected to a wholesale indiscriminate wall of reverb that succeeds only in making it all sound as if it was recorded in a tin can, which tries the patience after three or four tracks & is a decidedly unpleasant experience when listening to the album from start to finish. What is most alarming is that they evidently intended it to be this way, which smacks of a wilful indulgence that ends up disrespecting the qualities of their own music. There is no bottom-end thrust at all (needs a boost, I'm afraid) & practically all of the impressive detail in the treble registers is entirely lost in the reverb blur. If you have the software you can correct this yourself at home, of course, & the album will sound a whole lot better for it- so much better, in fact, that you will share my dismay that a major record company could release the record in this condition without exercising some quality control. But for all that, the songs & vocals performances are infectious enough to get under your skin & stay there- which is why it gets 4 instead of 3 stars. With a more sympathetic production, this could have been one of the most attractive offerings of the year to date. As it stands, however, it's the most frustrating by a long mile. It's a shame, because hidden inside this tin can fiasco is a damn fine record which deserves much much better.