More captivating with every listen, Rock Paper Scissors is one of those encounters which make a bigger impact in four songs than many bands can in a handful of song loaded releases. The new EP from UK rockers The Kut; it is a ferocious yet alluring mix of grunge, alternative rock, and punk. Each of the tracks offers something different to those before it without departing from the core heart of the band’s sound. It is pop, punk, grunge all at once, but predominantly it is anthemic rock ‘n’ roll to rage and romp with.
Taking inspirations from bands such as Deftones, L7, Hole, Incubus, Placebo, Nirvana, and Faith No More, the London trio whipped up keen attention with their first EP Make Up last year whilst singles and songs like No Trace, Mario, Closure, and Doesn’t Matter Anyway have bred keen support and appetites for their emergence in fans and media alike. Now is the turn of the more dramatically imposing yet virulently contagious James LeRock Loughrey (Skindred,White Zombie, My Vitriol, Page & Plant, Bjork, Def Leppard) produced songs of Rock Paper Scissors to make their persuasions, and there seems little will stop them awakening an even hungrier spotlight upon the band.
Immediately opener I Want You Maniac treats ears to a scuzzy riff matched by punchy rhythms and an inviting vocal confrontation from guitarist Maha. Just as swiftly there is a sense of a more aggressive, angry even, feel to the tone and music of the track which is supported and realised in broader visceral fashion across the rest of the EP. The infectious qualities which marked the previous release are just as prevalent too, hooks and anthemic vocals a virulent persuasion against the fuzz lined enterprise of Maha’s guitar and the thumping beats of Violet Cannibal aligned to the predatory lures of Alison Wood’s bass. As mentioned the track has a new aggressive and raw belligerence in sound which without doubt benefits band and release. The song hunts the senses like a mix of L7 and Distillers but with the punk toxicity of early Damned and the catchiness of The Ramones to its potency.
Alekhine’s Gun steps up next and has a mellower more relaxed touch to its opening, though again there is menace in the rhythmic framing and atmosphere shadows surrounding the excellent vocals and infectious melodic tempting. The rage which seems to fuel the EP erupts in abrasing vocal bellows throughout the encounter but persistently it manages to return to a less volatile and equally compelling state, subsequently offering great unpredictability and adventure throughout.
The best tracks on the EP complete Rock Paper Scissors, the first coming with the rock/punk pop excellence of I Don’t Need Therapy. Brewing essences of bands like Spinnerette and Valentiine into its own distinct landscape of dirty rock ‘n’ roll, the song strolls boldly with simple but voracious riffs speared by gripping hooks whilst the bassline running through all is sheer grouchiness. The track has an inescapable familiarity to it but that only adds to the rich flavouring offered and enjoyed.
The closing Bad Man emerges as the favourite, everything about it preying on ears from scything rhythms to caustic riffery. Even its melodic passages have a sultry yet sinister occult/psyche rock colouring which would not be out of place in a Jess and the Ancient Ones or Blood Ceremony offering. The track is outstanding; the pinnacle of The Kut’s invention for personal tastes and a fine way to leave the listener with a long and lingering excited impression of the release.
Listening to Rock Paper Scissors it is still easy to feel there is plenty more to come from the threesome, in songwriting and sound as well as invention, to truly set the band aside from the rest and give the UK a band to rival the statures of bands like Hole and L7. Right now The Kut provide a thoroughly enjoyable and impressive proposal which goes just down a treat.
The Rock Paper Scissors EP is available now via Criminal Records digitally and on CD at https://thekut.bandcamp.com/album/rock-paper-scissors
Upcoming live dates for The Kut…
2nd May: Hell Fire Club, Redhill, Surrey
Saturday 16th May: Elektrowerkz, Angel, London
Saturday 24th May: Mainstage, Glastonbudget, Leicester
Saturday 23rd – 24th May: Strummercamp Festival, Manchester
Saturday 30th May: The Harvest Home, Haughton Regis, Bedford
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