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Jah Cutta’s most recent release, a five track EP in collaboration with Piratas Urbanos, displays Cutta’s remarkably diverse yet cohesive sound; the EP is mesmerizing, uplifting, and sticky (you’ll find yourself listening to it again).


His first track, “No Problem,” comes in with a kinetic baseline overlain with vinyl scratching samples, kicking the EP off with a high energy dub feel. D Shade delivers a low profile, totally sneak-up-in-the-dark-on-you flow (it’s deadpan in the coolest way). It makes a nice interlude to Cutta’s hook, which proclaims, “love who you love and you like who you like;” there’s something intuitive and enlightening about this lyricism, setting the precedent for the rest of the EP.


The second track, “More Justice,” has a more rocksteady, funky feel to it, married to Cutta’s sweet, rootsy singing. The lyrics are political in an uplifting-yet-urgent sort of way, a call for justice, mercy and progress. The melodic, female-backed chorus beautifully arises out of Cutta’s more guttural sounding lines. His fourth track, “See the Light,” has a similar sound to “More Justice:” funky baseline, rootsy vocals, and politically conscious, uplifting lyricism.  


Totally drenched in reverb and echo, the track, “Watch and Peep,” is totally ominous and mesmerizing, a classic reggae/dub/trip-hop fusion. Samples of animal noises (and other, unidentifiable ones) contribute to its sort of otherworldly feel; it gives meaning to the thrown around term, “Soundscape.” 


The EP’s last track, “Life is a Gift,” has a bare-bones, hard-hitting video that best does it justice; check it out below. 


Punchline 13's Cut the Rope


A listen through of Punchline 13’s newest release, Cut the Rope, left me grooving to a sonic sweet spot somewhere between the irreverent, chaotic sound of classic punk rock, a shinier, more radio-friendly pop sound, and absolutely killer classic rock musicianship. 

The first track, “First Cut,” a 30 second intro dripping with (punk sensibility) irony, consists of a sample of a classic 50s male radio voice “reassuring youngsters” about the necessity of haircuts. The sample is soon drowned out by guitar distortion and white noise - it’s clear that “the man” telling us to cut our hair won’t determine the album’s sound.  

Cut the Rope is long – 14 songs – so I’m just going to lay out a few of its gems. All of the tracks employ speedy punk rock tempos and loud-as-hell guitar; most of them take on a distinctly melodic and lyrically driven pop-punk style, but occasionally a more hardcore, nihilistic classic punk sound emerges (and also a healthy smattering of 50s classic rock riffs and solos). 

On the more poppy side of things, the second track, “Home,” really shines in all it’s power-pop glory; with a sort of rough-around-the-edges Jimmy Eat World feel to it, “Home” has a strong melody and clear, powerful vocals. The chorus professes, “everything’s all right, everything’s just fine,” making the song a little more thematically up-beat and teen anthem-y than some of the later ones on the album. “Home” ends with a shredding guitar solo; this is power pop with some serious musicianship underpinning it. 

The same sort of angsty, adolescent pop feel shines through on the 10th track, “What Will You Do,” with its slower tempo, lower volume, and ridiculously catchy ascending chord riff. It’s lyrics are soul searching in an almost comfortingly familiar sort of way; “what will you do to be happy ever after?” asks lead vocalist Sly Rawk. The production on this track feels totally radio friendly, but, like “Home,” the catchy, accessible feeling is shaken up a bit towards the end by a a killer guitar solo, a little slice of 50s rock n’ roll in the punk-pop mix. 

On the more hardcore punk side of things, the 8th track, “Fire,” is a fast-paced, anti-establishment frenzy. The track is short, loud, and pissed off, with stripped down lyrics matched in volume by the drums (this track doesn’t have the same clean, clear vocals as “Home” does). Rawk ends the track sing-yelling, “I don’t give a Fuuuuuuuck,” his delivery unpolished in a totally grungy, garage-rock way. 

The 11th track “Reanimated Kidz,” has a slowed down, syncopated back beat that makes the track feel almost a little bit rockabilly, certainly at least a bit early 50s classic rock (the tambourine hits this feeling home). Its still got the punk-pop, angsty narrative weaving through it, making it a genre mash-up that ultimately chills you out – it’s plodding, contemplative, and sorrowful, in the prettiest way. 

All this is really just a greatest hits summary- the album is fourteen tracks, and each of them have interesting genre nuances/switch-ups and fundamentally really high quality, tight, delivery. Check out the Music Video for “Home” to put a face to Punchline 13: