Cute Cute Death are angry. At least that is the impression they want to leave us with upon hearing their new single ‘Pockets’. But what exactly are they angry at? Crooked politicians? Ruthless warlords? Shady corporate entities? Nothing so certain I’m afraid. Their gaze is unfocused and cast upon a situation they don’t seem to understand.
Formed in Kingston-Upon-Thames in 2012, Cute Cute Death are billed as a Post-Hardcore band. Post-Hardcore, while once a valid descriptor for hardcore punk bands who were experimenting with jazz, soul and funk fusions has gone through many changes since its creation in the 80’s and currently seems to describe an especially marketable form of rock, pulling heavily from modern emo music which itself had become something of a brand or lifestyle heartily embraced by so many disillusioned teens.
As such, it’s easy to find comparisons to Cute Cute Death’s sound. Alexisonfire, Emarosa and Funeral for a Friend have all been listed as influences and the connecting line is easy to spot. Their music is fast paced and heavy if a little dull and predictable. This is music not as art but as product, made to satisfy a demographic with no shortage of anger and no obvious direction to vent. This is protest music for teens. And within that context, ‘Pockets’ makes sense. Not lyrically of course, but it makes sense that this song exists. It is as confused, misguided and passionate as it expects its audience to be.
There was a time in my life when I would have eaten this up and probably kind of liked it. I loved angry music, knowing even then that most of it was just thin veneer painted over head banging rock songs. None of the bands I enjoyed were really speaking truthfully. They weren’t inciting violence or asking us to kill ourselves for the cause. They were pushing us into that space, knowing full well that we would take out that anger by jumping around and thrashing our heads about because really, that’s all we knew.
Alas, despite my efforts to approach Cute Cute Death’s new single through a nostalgic lens ‘Pockets’ still falls short for me. The lyrics are confused and many lines are so out of place that it seems they were written to fill space. While the music is competently played, it is hindered by how over produced it is. There is no sense of power to the guitars, having gone through serious filtering. The drums, while relentlessly played, never hit with any sense of power. It all feels too contained which really works against the band who are trying to generate feeling.
No doubt there is an audience somewhere for this song. While I may have gotten older I know there are always angry teens and they all need a soundtrack. Cute Cute Death are on tour this Summer and their single ‘Pockets’ is available to download from bandcamp now.