All Feels Lost, the debut album from the mid-west band Cut Hairs, is a fitting title to the current socio-political world we find ourselves in today. The band’s claim is that their songs are an examination into one’s self while centering around apocalyptic themes on love. The five-member outfit calls Dubuque, Iowa their home. As a born and bred mid-westerner myself, I was eager to listen to their eight song, half hour apocalyptic vision. I thought to myself, is this a concept album? – Does anybody make those anymore?
Well turns out, it didn’t feel like a concept album from days of old but it’s a pretty good, straightforward collection of songs that fit well into the standard three-four minute rock-pop time frame. “Never See the Sun” starts off in a shuffling somber mood, then rocks hard with a wailing guitar solo during breaks from the lyrics. The changing chords midway gives the song that classic rock feel, but then there is a short acoustic interlude of some kind which kind of felt out of place to me.
In “Belly of the Beast” I can hear very faint echoes of Black Sabbath, if someone back then had ever so slightly turned on the “happy switch” and told Tony Iommi to play something other than E and A chords (No offense to the masters of macabre of course, they wrote the playbook as far as I’m concerned). The drums have a sloppy ending but I think it works well given the already heavy feeling of the song.
The next two songs “All I Do” and “Boy in Love” seem like a complete 180 from the first two songs. They’re upbeat with a party-like, sing-along, summer-surf feel to them and both are worthy of being singles. The endings to both songs were unexpected and had sounds reminiscent of early Soul Asylum or Replacements. “Fossils” has some very interesting changes and breaks and a slower tempo overall than the previous two songs. I would have liked to hear more keys on this one.
“Night Noise” is a dreamy acoustic escape with echoing guitars, haunting keys with even more haunting vocals, something akin to the Replacements “Skyway” but way more melancholic and creepier than Westerberg. The chiming, singing like quality of the guitar reminded me of the late Robert Buck on earlier 10,000 Maniacs recordings. I really liked this tune a lot and the crackling noise at the beginning and end added to its beautiful creepiness.
The title track “All Feels Lost” has a swaying, pop-rock bounce and what I thought to be the clearest vocal track of any of the songs – perhaps another one to consider putting out as a single. The keyboard comes through well on “Play it Cool.” It has a more rocking feel to it, complete with a lighter guitar solo and great vocal layering.
All Feels Lost didn’t seem particularly apocalyptic or fearful to me, except for maybe “Belly of the Beast” - seriously, Sabbath influence was behind this song. The album seems a bit disjointed and lacks cohesion in some parts, like the transition from “Belly of the Beast” to “All I Do” and “Boy In Love” or later on “Night Noise.” It seemed at times I was listening to two different bands, but I wouldn’t let that discourage you from listening.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook