The Cutters are obviously a professional outfit going from the quality of this demo and their website. Having formed in the spring of 2004 they have gigged across the country from Liverpool to London and back to their home town of Middlesbrough. As you’d expect they have an enthusiastic following in their home town having won the ‘Teesside Musical Express Award’ for best new band 2004.
‘Jesus’ kicks of the CD with a pounding guitar riff and drums combo before posing the startling question ‘If you were Jesus would you come back here?’ Whether they mean Middlesbrough or not is something of an aside as the intelligent and thought provoking lyrics add much to the tune. As for their delivery, Anthony Sawdon’s vocals have a whiff of Robert Smith about them which also helps to add a real vibe to the track. The guitar solo has a nice jangly feel to it and is backed up by good use of underscored effects, taking the track up a gear on its way to its natural conclusion.
The vocals on ‘One look back’ take on more of a Morrissey sound which works well with the rhythmic bass line and the chiming guitar. It is probably the most chart friendly of the tracks, though it is a little long at just over four minutes.
‘Star’ is the final number and my personal favourite from the demo. It’s a cracking tune with a strong nod to early Paul Weller coming through. I’m not sure who this track is aimed at, whether someone that they know or just a general pop against the current cult of z-list celebrities, but we all know someone who wears their sunglasses when ‘the sun ain’t shining’. The guitar solo also has a very ‘mod’ sound to it that works well with the lyrical structure of the song. The track then ends on the rousing chorus of ‘They think you’re something, they think you’re a star’, when clearly it is quite obvious what the band thinks of him. Both ironic and subtle, now there’s a trick.
I really enjoyed this demo and it ably demonstrates The Cutters abilities but it also shows their weakness. They are a very talented group of musicians who can write and play their own material very well. I just feel they’re missing something.
In their press release they say that they have been compared to a number of bands ranging from The Who to The Kinks via The Coral, I also heard some Morrissey and The Killers in the mix. While this is no bad thing, I think they can do better than just seemingly copying these bands. They certainly have the talent, they just now need to find their own sound and go for it.
Guest article by Neil R.
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