This is a little complicated, so follow me. This band, Cut The Reins, reminds me of this band from around L.A. called Onewordsolution, who, in turn, reminded me a lot of Pennywise. But, Cut The Reins is from Ireland and not SoCal. The basic sound of the album is speedy punk in the mid-late ‘90s Epitaph vein (i.e. Pennywise) but a tiny bit darker, and with a snare drum almost distractingly high in the mix for some reason. Lyrically, the band is pretty fuckin’ discontent. I think that’s where I draw the Onewordsolution comparison. The bands have their hearts in the right place, but both seem like they would benefit form a bit more subtlety in their lyrics. It’s not a matter of diluting the message so much as adding a bit more finesse and originality to their metaphors and word play. This is a decent, if not terribly memorable, album, but the band doesn’t quite snap yet. With some more creativity in their sound, they could be pretty awesome someday.
–Adrian ([email protected])