The Madison Mississippi four-piece the CUT all graduated high school together and then moved on to separate universities. They began playing their blend of R&B, funk, rock, jazz, pop et.al. back in 2013 after their freshman year of college. The band began gigging around Mississippi shortly afterwards, and finally sought to record their first five song offering the DAEH EP.
The band: Vincent McMurtery (keys/bas/vocals), Ben Atkinson, (guitar/vocals), Judson Wright (sax/keys/vocals) and Vinson McMurtery (drums/vocals) all have their different influences and they’ve blended them together on the DAEH EP to make a sort of “world music cocktail” of sorts.
The EP opens with “The Path” a mellow and straightforward number with jazzy guitar hooks and glittery keys taking the lead spot as the drums bring in island-rhythms and a second guitar brings up the rear with slightly more rocking riffs. It’s a bit of a stark contrast to the more serious and electro-funk “Medic,” as the CUT dip their toes into Bill Withers and Curtis Mayfield territory with its thick cuts of bass, wiry glints of guitar and rhythmically funky synthesizers. The instrumental “Namek” latches onto these elements too but in a more jamband-esque way. It’s fast and funky and definitely shows off each member of the CUT’s chops to the fullest.
The DAEH EP then turns down the funk with the more spacey and experimental “River” a quiet and lush love song featuring guest vocalist Mollie McCarroll and a pretty sweet saxophone drum combo. The CUT hit their stride with their most realized and also the most straightforward song on the record “No Explanation,” which again features a guest vocalist, this time Katie Hoitt. The song is the group’s poppiest and best, and makes the other tracks on the album seem like stepping stones on the way to finding a sound.
There are plenty of experimental jazz, funk, etc. bands out there. One is never at a loss to find them playing dingy bars and local festivals all across the nation. And while that music is generally fun to play and listen to live, it has a limited life when it comes to making an entire album of it. Most of the DAEH EP feels like this, but with such a bright spot at the end of it, it sounds like the CUT have already figured that themselves, and I can’t wait to hear them embracing their new-found sound.
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