[sic] Magazine

Cut City – Narcissus can wait EP

Why have UK bands forgotten how to sound like this? Sure, post-punk revivalists are ‘two a penny’ but aren’t most of them a bit embarrassing? Certainly many miss the point. Not to pick on Bloc Party (but we will anyway) but where is the message? Where is the rallying cry? I’m sorry but no matter how gorgeous they make their guitars sound, they still come across like a sixth form band led by The IT Crowds Moss. (Actually that would be quite good.) Leave it to the grown ups, lads. Speaking of which It takes a bunch of Swedes to remind us of the true visceral thrill of music 1977 – 1983, influenced by punks ‘anyone can’ attitude but substituting sensitivity and melodies in place of shock tactics.

I previously reviewed Cut City’s long player, Exit Decades for Evilsponge with a gushing naivety. Looking back, I really don’t care. Isn’t good music supposed to make us feel elated? Their exultant ‘Just Pornography’ is an absolute MUST HEAR for any proper fan of new wave and post punk. Trust me. It’s a goosebumper.

After a goodly wait, Cut City return with a startling 12” single. The bad news first – yes Cut City are making progressions and moving away from those clear Factory influences (although you really wouldn’t think it from that sleeve art) The good news? Same thing really. That they’re evolving their sound, taking in broader reference points and in doing so, establishing their own voice and personality where previous detractors might never have seen beyond the ‘long raincoat’ image.

This EP provides the’ varied yet assured’ showcase that all good EP’s should be. Both lead tracks ‘Ulyssian Window’ and ‘Departure In Particular’ still display the feisty, spiky ‘post-punk with a hint of Goth’ leanings of the Cut City we already knew and loved. The other three tracks reveal a burgeoning ambient side. ‘Ethereal Sirens’ floats out of the speakers like dry ice in a Church meeting. The tremolo wobble of ‘My Hands Are Bloody’ situates it firmly in Shields, MBV ‘Isn’t Anything territory and closing track ‘XO Echo’ is a little bit Velvets, a little bit JAMC and more than a little bit good.

As mentioned, few Brit bands are approaching such levels of intensity. USA provides better peer bands – Film School, Snowden; I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness, Repeater… to name a few. Plus there’s still good old Interpol who might one day match the splendour of their Turn On the Bright Lights. Right now we can place some hope with Gothenburg’s Cut City. Dive over to their myspace where you can listen to the whole of the Narcissus EP and the aforementioned ‘Just Pornography’ from Exit Decades. See what you think.

NB Vinyl 12” or digital download only.