EP REVIEW: The Cut/Up - The Gateway Drug (EP)
By Cyrus Rhodes - 11/25/2013 - 05:30 PM EST
Artist: The Cut/Up
Album: The Gateway Drug (EP)
Label: Amsterdam Recording Company
Genre: Alternative Rock
Sounds Like: Beck, Cake, Dinosaur Jr. Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie, The Flaming Lips
Technical Grade: 7/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 7/10
Commercial Value: 7/10
Overall Talent Level: 7/10
Songwriting Skills: 5/10
Performance Skill: 6/10
Best Songs: No More HEsitations, The Gateway Drug
Weakness: Repetitive Sound, Lack of vocal phrasing and melody, CD Packaging
The Cut/Up is an interesting 5 piece rock band based out of Amsterdam. The Cut/Up take inspiration from the likes of Hot Snakes, Q and not U, Les Savy Fav, Moving Units and Dinosaur Jr. Dark and distressed lyrics find their place between puzzle-piece guitar riffs and pounding bass parts, driven by a controlled battery of drums. ...
The CD quickly takes to flight with rocking intro piece “Lost” This song serves up infectious rocked out guitars painted against psychedelic vocals, hypnotic lyrical content and dynamic rhythms that quickly lead you by the hand down the path of trippy musical indulgence. Track 2 “No More Hesitations” keeps things rocking with it's psychedelic groove, impressive touches and accents painted against a grand mosaic of sound. The striking musical flow of this piece briskly moves like an ocean across the ears. All in all it’s my favorite piece on the CD. Track 3 “The Gateway Drug is an impressive electro-earthy piece that is quite dynamic, full of musical peaks and valleys that flow and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. This piece is remarkably striking to the ears as well with its Alternative Rock touches and hypnotic vibe. As the EP slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of a classic Beck, Cake, The Toadies, Dinosaur Jr. Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie and The Flaming Lips. I would classify this music as whacked out Singer/Songwriter, Punk, Alternative Rock with an Indie College Rock flair. I can also hear experimental music with classic remnants of Alternative Rock of the late 90’s. The EP presents sporadic flashes of hard rock ambiance and deep artistic perspective. The signing and guitar work are pretty solid across the board. These lads are probably a riot to check out live. I could see these guys unleashing a cosmic fury inducing the same in their audience. It’s hard, it’s heavy, it’s rock and roll, re-imagined and reinvigorated. From heartfelt “Shoot to Kill Your Fears” to Who’s your Enemy Now” the perfect finale statement for an EP of this caliber. this CD has something for just about everyone.
The EP, songs and subsequent mix sounds somewhat repetitive over time. I wish I heard more in the way of guitar soloing, more vocal harmonies, and more peak and valley songwriting. The vocal phrasing lacks creativity and is in dire need of more melody. Just because there's an empty space doesn't mean you have to sing there. 3 songs are too short while the remaining 3 drag you to the finish line against your will. There is no bar code located anywhere on the CD packaging indicating to me a retail non-compatibility. The actual CD itself is not comprised of high-quality silk screen material. Some of the above is not typical of a industry standard, professional grade musical releases. I also typically deduct 1 star for EP releases. The full length release is a more complete snapshot to judge an artists by at any given time.
The Cut/Up latest self titled release is a compelling musical journey. The Cut/Up Love manages to rock the house. Its strong suit is it’s rock solid consistence and song for song musical flow. This EP will be a real joy for those listeners out there who want flowing tormented soul ambiance to fill their sonic space. This progressive somewhat trippy format makes for a great extended play experience. I recommend you just hit play, close your eyes and see where the journey takes you. This EP feels like a musical journey and will work best when experienced in that capacity. So if you’re looking for a psychedelic musical experience with a psychedelic rock aftertaste, with a Puck rock kick then I highly recommend you take a listen to the latest The Gateway Drug EP by the The Cut/Up from right away.
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