By Jess Linde, July 15, 2014
The first couple songs on Brooklyn self-described “danger room punk” band CUTTERS’ We Are The Quarry are sort of confusing, but at the same time familiar. Confusing, right? One the one hand, the anthemic vocals, self-deprecating lyrics, and fuzzy guitars on “We Are the Quarry,” “Good Morning Boys,” and “Savage Nights,” reminded me of indie punk bigwigs like Titus Andronicus and The Men. But on the other hand, I also thought about more post-punk and progressive acts like Priests.
I’m not sure either of these comparisons are completely fair. After all, I can only assume that “danger room” is a reference to the X-Men’s training center, something that is partially confirmed by “X-Cutioner’s Song.” But that song and the following track, “Excitable Liefeld,” are less about superheroes and more about being stuck in a rut. The riffs on both songs are very catchy, and when CUTTERS’ vocalist wails about broken hearts and never-ending bad situations, I believe it. I admit that when I first began to listen to the album I didn’t know exactly what to expect, but I am impressed.
The instrumentation is unique and varied, and though the similarities I mentioned in the first paragraph are still there, We Are The Quarry is something all its own. As the record continued into songs like “Young Gods” and “Batman 666,” CUTTERS move into the salvation and self-forgiveness stage, and I thought about other anthemy bands like Flogging Molly and Touché Amoré. However, unlike when I listen to ok or even bad albums, I didn’t wish that I was listening to those bands. Rather, I put We Are The Quarry up in the similar category of bands in my mind that enjoy separately at separate time.
So overall, I enjoyed We Are The Quarry quite a bit. I listened to the album several times, and each time I found a new way to move through the album’s emotional arc and find something new in the songs. Whether that was a guitar riff, a fun bass groove, some important and effective lyrics, I found something new each time. And that’s more than I can say for most smaller records that remind me of other ones.
Select Tracks: “Savage Nights,” “X-Cutioner’s Song,” “Batman 666”
Jess Linde said some incredibly nice things about us. Please be sure to give Rotator Music Reviews a follow.
Who It Is: CUTTERS – We Are The Quarry; Lost State Records (2014)
What It Sounds Like: Taking Back Sunday, Nouns, Against Me!, COSMICSPLOSION
Why do punks get so jaded? Is it really just newbies coming in and ruining DIY ethics? Or is it just a matter of growing old? When that old drunk guy is yelling at the pop punk band to get off stage because “punk is dead”, what is he really saying? Well, I think CUTTERS explains it.
Kind words from Jorge at Funeral Sounds.
Thanks for getting us :)