EP REVIEW: Cutting Teeth – Fracture / Decompose
Cutting Teeth have gradually been moving the American dominated metalcore sound forward, could their new EP Fracture / Decompose be the release that cements both them and the UK?
The moment we hit play on this EP it became clear that Cutting Teeth are deadly serious. There is absolutely no gimmick to their brand of metalcore, instead both metal and hardcore are represented with a real sense of purity. Within such an intricate scene there is always a danger of repetition and following influences too closely, metalcore is also home to a notoriously fussy fanbase making it a tough nut to crack.
Although Cutting Teeth are essentially cutting their teeth (sorry) at the moment, this is a release which is absolutely packed with promise and creates a very clear marker for who and what they are. The initial surprise as the vocals overtake an incredibly intricate introduction of Blistered has nods towards the math rock leanings of bands like MØL and Rolo Tomassi. This clever suspense and short, sharp shock in the shape of a venomous vocal creates an instant moment that will stick in the listener’s ears much longer than the potential ringing caused by increasing the volume for the moment of intricate, feedback soaked guitar.
This subtle touch continues to appear throughout the EP. Misanthropy has a delightful balance between guitar and basslines which sounds almost playful, until vocals encourage the start of a brutal collapse. The speed in which the guitar line switches into a crushing riff within Diathesis is another point of musical fascination. The knife edge accuracy required to completely change the sound and focus of the song is a credit to the musicianship of the entire band and their ability to creatively compose modern heavy music. The deft touches continue throughout the release and really help to separate this release from the brutality of less adventurous members of the metalcore community.
As the bassline rolls and crashes into huge drums on both Ghost Blood and Muscle Memory, this EP has two moments that are made to create carnage in a live setting. The desire to open up the pit on the high street is strong, as the drums are followed by vocals full of emotions buried so deep they can only surface from a guttural howl, so we can only imagine gravitational pull towards flailing limbs during a live setting. This is an EP that packs as many punches as it does surprises.
As A Reason To Give delicately signals the end of these six tracks there is a moment to reflect on an EP which, on first listen, sounds like a very strong hardcore EP and then develops into something special with each and every listen. Somehow, emotions intensify as guitars and bass intricately float together behind a distorted vocal and the EP ends with a haunting fade. Every song on this EP is full of surprises and although the expectations of the genre are fulfilled, there is a lot more to Cutting Teeth.
This emotional, free flowing EP is original in its composition and has the matter of fact delivery of Trash Talk, the technical prowess of Rolo Tomassi, the intricate surprise of Ithaca, the theatre of Talons and somehow embraces moments of musicianship from the entirety of heavy music. This is less of an EP and more an announcement of intent: Cutting Teeth are going to be huge, it’s just a matter of how long it takes for them to gain the required plaudits.
Standout Tracks: A Reason to Give, Ghost Blood, Misanthropy
For Fans Of: MØL, Ithaca, Employed to Serve
Written by: Ben Adsett