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Cute Is What We Aim For - The Same Old Blood Rush With A New Colour

Cute Is What We Aim For, The Same Old Blood Rush With A New Touch

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

OVERLONG album names seem to be the new way to announce yourself on the music scene.

It sort of screams out, “hey, take notice, we’re clever”, while serving notice that the band behind it are among the new cool group of musical wordsmiths.

Ever since The Arctic Monkeys’ Whatever People Say, That’s What I’m Not, bands have been falling over themselves to outdo each other on the elaborate track listing/album name stakes.

Step forward Cute Is What We Aim For, a Buffalo-based quartet who are being hailed as the next big things to emerge from the States.

Cute name aside, and in spite of the fact they share labels with Panic! At The Disco and Fall Out Boy, their sound is extremely likeable.

But what’s with the name of the album? The Same Old Blood Rush With A New Colour. Is it a statement of intent? Maybe.

To tar CIWWAF with the same brush as their label-mates, or even Blink-182-style bands, would be putting you close to what to expect.

But their songwriting is a little grittier and tackles themes of teen angst and growing pains with a little more bite than normal.

Tracks like The Fourth Drink Instinct tackle under-age sex and one night stand’s, while Finger Twist & Split is all about beauty obsession.

Yet the melodies are fun, infectious and most of the tracks have that same sort of bouncing around the room quality as a lot of American bands – although don’t let that put you off.

Current single There’s A Class For This is a classic case in point – punchy guitar riffs, misunderstood observations and a powerful and catchy chorus that quickly endears you to their sound.

It’s quickly followed by the equally vibrant Finger Twist & Split which contains observations as sharp as its guitar work – including “Eyeliner and a famous designer brand, your mind is a moment to be stamped”.

Risque is similarly impressive, focusing on a juvenile crush and containing some of the album’s cutest melodies – think Fountains of Wayne, only younger. The chorus is a humdinger that’s made for singing along to (“what’s a crush to do?”).

The aforementioned The Fourth Drink Instinct contains some really powerful lyrics that display a maturity beyond some of the musical style, including the memorable chorus, “he said it was a one night stand but the alcohol didn’t let her understand, so what made you think that he couldn’t find that door in the morning when he found that bed so easily in the dark”.

Sweet Talk 101 drops some grittier riffs and continues to impress on a very high level, while The Curse of the Curves again succeeds in making some telling observations over the top of its accessible, punchy style.

And the acoustic slow-burner Lyrical Lies even succeeds in slowing things down to memorable effect, suggesting the band has it within itself to change tempo and appeal to an even wider fanbase.

Cute Is What We Aim For may struggle initially to overcome some easily placed tags but – long album names aside – their music and their style is impossible to ignore or dislike.

Shaant’s vocals are generally easy on the ear, his songwriting is sharp and observant, and the guitars and drums of Jeff Czum, Tom Falcone and Fred Cimato generally hit all the right notes and beats.

Expect a significant majority to fall for their Cute-ness.

Track listing:

  1. Newport Living
  2. There’s A Class For This
  3. Finger Twist & Split
  4. Risque
  5. Sweat The Battle Before The Battle Sweats You
  6. The Fourth Drink Instinct
  7. Sweet Talk 101
  8. The Curse Of Curves
  9. I Put The’‘Metro’’ In Metronome
  10. Lyrical Lies
  11. Moan
  12. Teasing To Please (Left Side, Strong Side)