Cult of Positivity – Real Actors, Not People

  • Cole Faulkner posted
  • Reviews

Cult of Positivity

Real Actors, Not People - Self Released

I’m not going to hold back on this one.  California duo Cult of Positivity is the most exciting band that no one is talking about.  The scrappy, unapologetic project of Luke Gunn and Dylan Moon, the band will immediately appeal to anyone that’s ever fancied themselves fans of AJJ, Homeless Gospel Choir, Dollar Signs and Say Anything.  Existing somewhere between stripped down, off-key folk-punk and wiry, self-deprecating pop-punk, their debut seven-song EP, Real Actors, Not People, hits the mark like a hobo with a shotgun at a shooting gallery.

Gunn’s vocals are clearly the result of falling for AJJ in early adolescenthood and listening to People That Eat People Are the Luckiest People and Candy Cigarettes and Cap Guns at the back of a senior science class with wireless earbuds (kids have it easy these days).  The wiry, coloquial delivery, coupled with far too descriptive and expressive anecdotes of eating pizza alone while watching Rick and Morty (“Gigiono for One”) will speak to anyone that’s ever felt like a social outsider in today’s age of memes.  “I thought I was a lone wolf, but I guess I’m just lonely” expresses Gunn amidst a chorus hypothesizing a fate of dying in a Wendy’s parking lot of “baconator heart disease” in your late twenties. 

Such cynical introspection and socially transgressive thoughts is where a clear likeness to Say Anything makes Real Actors, Not People a highly personal affair.  Tracks like “It Ain’t Easy Being Cool” are anthems for the down and out, delivered with just the right amount of tongue in cheek cynicism to be comedically satirical.  “I’d throw humanity under the bus if I could just pay my rent this month,” upping the ante moments later by claiming that “I’d toss it into the busiest of streets if someone else would have to pay for my utilities,” justifying the jaded, survivalist mentality given that “people have sold their soul for less.”  Other tracks like “Auld Lang Booze” describe coping with relationship woes in free champagne on new years eve by masking self-destructive behaviours through staged selfies and defining success as “swiping right” on a Thursday night.

The Cult of Positivity feeds off of all this internal anguish to make Real Actors, Not People a masterful collection of anthems for the down and out and chronically single.  Whether the California duo speaks from tragic experience or mere observation, the result is undeniably entertaining.  But there’s also a hidden sense of optimism brewing amidst the band’s clearly ironic moniker.  As if to say “hey world, we might have hit rock bottom, but we ain’t going anywhere,” Real Actors, Not People is a simple tale of surviving life’s emotional lows.  

Cult of Positivity answers to no one. Real Actors, Not People is hands down the best off-key emo-punk outing of the year. Yet, the band’s media channels seem to have mostly dried up over the few months following release.  Let’s just hope that this silence signals that the duo’s insecurities have taken hold and they are held up in some dilapidated apartment binging on Digiono in self-deprecating writing sessions, rather than suggesting an abandonment of the project.  Fingers crossed…