With a name which certainly sparks intrigue, Cute Cute Death back it up with a sound just as attention grabbing and now an album which climbs over the senses, trespasses their boundaries, and leaves fierce satisfaction in its wake. Vessels though is a slightly curious affair for personal tastes, an album which for its first third certainly pleases yet without sparking much more whilst its remainder is a different type of protagonist sparking real excitement about itself and the band’s future.
The seeds of Cute Cute Death began in 2008 when drummer Wayne Kopman and guitarist Johnny Correia relocated from their home city of Johannesburg, South Africa to the UK. Settling in London, the pair met and subsequently linked up with vocalist Niko Forster. After a few line-up changes, guitarist Ricky Gurung and bassist Robert Pipe were enlisted, at which point the band properly emerged, initially under the name Set The Air On Fire. They were soon lighting up stages with their American Metal/hardcore influenced post hardcore endeavours, taking to their growing sound inspirations from the likes of Lower Definition, Alexisonfire, Gallows, Finch, Refused, Deftones, and Glass Jaw, who especially come to mind at times listening to Vessels. The subsequent time since starting has seen the band play across the UK with bands such as Broadway, Atlantis, Flood of Red, They Say Fall, Confessions of a Traitor, and Rival State, all the time adding to their potent reputation which is now pushed again by their debut album.
Produced by Joseph Grouse with Justin Hill (Sikth) mixing, mastering, and co-producing, Vessels opens up with its title track; a song needing little time to get a firm hand on ears and attention. The guitar prowess of Correia and Gurung quickly casts a web of enterprise that lures the imagination, their sonic touch soon wrapping the impressive clean tones of Forster. Straightaway he impresses, increasingly so as his delivery springs rawer, dirtier, and grouchier roars to equally fine success. As the rhythms rumble and prowl the resourceful landscape of the song, there is no escaping the lure and vibrancy of the encounter yet, and we emphasize for personal ears and tastes, it never quite taps into something which really stirs up the passions.
All the same it is a powerful and dramatic start to Vessels continued by the Sikth meets Incubus personality of Alarm. Once again, the guitars dance with invention and craft as rhythms crowd the senses with their hungry shadows, all colluding to burn fiercely around the equally inflamed and rousing tones of Forster. The track enjoyably blisters on the ear before seamlessly evolving into the rawer antipathy of Pockets. Sonic tendrils and band shouts bring fresh drama to the album whilst the bass of Pipe borders on predatory as it robustly swings through the web of unpredictable and intoxication grooves and scything hooks. There is something extra about the track, if indefinable, which its predecessors lacked, an essence which and hints at the adventure waiting to escape the album further on.
Red Lights makes a calmer entrance next, though walls of bruising rhythms led by the tenacious swings of Kopman amidst intimidating riffs are soon descending on the senses before the song grows into another skilled and magnetic blend of contrasting textures and intensity, as ever echoed in the vocal enterprise of Forster. From its success the brief instrumental of Interlude looms upon ears with electronic suggestiveness on board, it drawing the listener into the awaiting revelry of DMT. It is from here that Vessels suddenly triggers a lustier reaction, though again it is hard to say exactly why, the major differences between the qualities and invention of songs before and after the melodic break not an open reason. With persistently twisting grooves and unpredictable rhythms aligned to writhing tendrils of sonic imagination adding to its temptation, there is no denying that the song simply enthrals and sparks a new breed of pleasure.
There is certainly greater diversity across the songs from hereon in on the album, starting with the warm caress of Statues. The song is an emotive melodic hug and vocal croon with the guitars spellbinding and Forster bordering on majestic with his again wonderfully varied tones. Taking best song honours, the track almost alone tells you all you need to know about the potential and already established invention of Cute Cute Death and that is without sharing any invasive trespass, which they have already proven to be equally adept at.
Leave This City follows and quickly holds courts as its web of spidery grooves and melodic acidity lies magnetically upon the rapier like thrusts of Kopman and another darkly juicy bassline from Pipe. There is a theatre to the hooks and the lively invention which grips the imagination as forcibly as the song’s underlying rhythmic rumble and fiery catchiness takes the body. It is an almost imposingly persuasive proposal matched by that of the enjoyably volatile and often irritable Glass Eyes and eclipsed by the closing might of Dinosaur. The final track is a tempest of anthemic hardcore, rebellious punk rock, and psyche infesting noise rock persistently involved with progressive and melodic ingenuity. The song is rebel rousing, a spirit igniting finale to the album offering a creative call to arms for the impressive invention and presence of Cut Cute Death.
Vessels is an excellent first full-length from the band; one which, even with that odd impact initially, left us thrilled and eager to recommend all fans check out what is a fresh breath in the post and hardcore scene.
Vessels is out now through all outlets on Friday 13th May.
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Pete RingMaster 13/05/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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