Album Review by Mark Bayross
Opening with a promisingly heavy burst of guitar, the debut album from Bristol’s Undercut hits something of an AOR groove as soon as Johnny Benn’s croaky Gordon Sumner vocals kick in. It’s followed by the beautifully melodic single TO DIE FOR, making for a decent start.
After that, the album becomes somewhat underwhelming – crystalline production (courtesy of Ian Grimble of Travis / Texas / Manics fame) but safe as houses songwriting – until halfway through when the band shift things up a gear again with the stabbing guitars of BUTTERFLY. The reason for this glossy, expansive sound is apparently that Undercut wrote and rehearsed the album in an aircraft hanger, so these songs arrive stadium-ready.
Whether or not Undercut will have the chance to make it into arenas is open to question – they evidently have the ability to write a catchy tune (see the likes of RISING TO FALL or the aforementioned TO DIE FOR) and I can forsee a clutch of U2-sized support slots not far away, but they need to add a bit of grit and personality, something just that bit different, before they can stand out.
Watch this space.