“I Am A Loyal Dog!”: Cult Leader’s One-Band Rebellion Against Conformity

cult leader

Photo credit: David Martínez

If your only image of music coming out of the state of Utah is limited to The Osmonds or if you thought that Salt Lake City punk was just some old 90s movie, then you haven’t checked out Cult Leader. Touring on their 2015 debut album Lightless Walk, I caught the band opening for Dragged Into Sunlight at Club Congress on Sunday, July 17, 2016 in downtown Tucson, AZ. Interestingly, when I first saw the band they were opening for Sleep during the Southwest TerrorFest last October, which was also in downtown Tucson, only then it was across the street at the Rialto Theatre. Both shows were awesome. However, the gig at Club Congress was more intimate. Not to say that there were any kumbaya moments. On the contrary, Cult Leader is totally grindcore, some would say crust, both of which evoke an intensity expressed in rapid hardcore licks, growling vocals, and lyrics that rage against the suffocation of conformity. The song that I recorded, “Mongrel,” is from the band’s 2014 EP Nothing For Us Here. It’s a song about a dog and about loyalty, which is taken to gruesome extremes.

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