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CD REVIEW: The Kuffs - Figures, Patterns and Objects
By Ashley Petkovski - 12/25/2002 - 10:52 PM EST

Artist: The Kuffs
Album: Figures- Patterns and Objects
CD Review: Both delightfully spasmodic and delicate, The Kuffs play among the confines of all things indie and electronic, bringing dance-floor sonic bombast and calm sparkling resonance to the 5 songs on their “Figures, Patterns and Objects” EP.

Hailing from San Francisco and comprised instrumentally of drums, bass, keyboards, guitar and vocals, The Kuffs are the result of The Faint’s courtship with a post “Kid A” era Radiohead. “Figures, Patterns and Objects” showcases a rare ability to perfectly fuse organics with electronics, a musical combination that lends itself to passionate, charged songs that exhibit the band’s creative integrity and innovation.

Much like the aforementioned The Faint, The Kuffs play aggressively with their melodies, relying heavily on keyboard based electronic music, as well as a thundering rhythm section, to add a volatile component. On tracks like “On Seventh,” where the mood makes a transition from mellow to demanding and impassioned, the keyboard lines provide not only an initial delicate touch but, right as the building tension comes to the forefront, provide a moody, cryptic atmosphere and, of course, much beloved screeches and wails.

The creation of said moody atmosphere is what makes The Kuffs stand out as a band. Drawing from their natural charisma and chemistry as musicians, each track on “Figures, Patterns and Objects” – from the instrumental “Portal” to the lush pop song “Workaday Morning” (which in itself exhibits a similarity to Ron Sexsmith and Rufus Wainwright) - has a distinct texture. The Kuffs don’t rely on the typical paths of songwriting, and it shows. Their sound, although influenced by outside sources, is unique and genuine, unhampered by the rules of convention. Pain and beauty – the light and the dark – also heavily come into play in the creation of the ever-present mood, providing a humanized feel to the electronic components of each song and occasional dramatic flair.

Striking and challenging, The Kuffs are a band with undoubted creative potential and genuine talent. A showcase of their most positive attributes and abilities, “Figures, Patterns and Objects” is a stunning contribution – regardless of genre or indie band status – to the music world.


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