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We Cut Corners – Today I Realised I Could Go Home Backwards (Delphi)

One of the drawbacks of our modern internet age is that those so-called “freedoms” that allow us to create unsupervised have led to us being buried in an ever-recycling mountain of stuff to listen to and watch.  Admittedly, I’m a self-confessed snob, who believes that the critics work is far from through – in fact the reverse. That with the drowning tide of music now on offer, there’s never been more need for gatekeepers and taste makers to harvest the wheat from the chaff!

A consequence of furnishing every wannabe artist or band with the tools to produce their own propound endeavours is that there seems to be a disregard for editing, or knowing when to quit – the question of length vs. quality, as both music and movies get ever longer and over-baked.

Thankfully Ireland’s power-guitar/drums combo, We Cut Corners, know exactly when to cut loose, and when to call time on their impressively compacted sonics. Narrowly hitting shy of the 30-minute mark, only a few of their ten-track condensed song catalogue troubles the three-minute time-frame; with most fulfilling their purpose within the confines of two. Like a rapacious amalgamation of Belle & Sebastian, Ash and The White Stripes (not for the obvious dynamics reason that you assume!), the emerald Isle’s best-kept secret is now being exported our way.

The glowingly praised debut LP, Today I Realised I Could Go Home Backwards, has already attracted plaudits, now they hope to mirror the adulation and top reviews on this side of the Irish Sea.  Wasting barely nanoseconds of introduction, the tight duo launch straight into the torrid blazer that is ‘Three People’. Evoking the edgy caustic-indie of Placebo, they deliver an energetic rousing burst of clanging, stomping drums and snarling, swirling guitar, whilst quivering the plaintive cry of, “I need to something to inspire to setting fire to”. The rapid attacking style continues on the stand-out choking, stabbing, squalling ‘The Leopard’ – perhaps their signature style highlight, and a guaranteed single. Heavy but with a certain pop lilt, their storming vignettes are full of energy and spit.

Amazingly, for a duo whose rapid-fire retorts and sound should by logic leave scant room for palatial builds and seemingly tender passages, We Cut Corners do leave space to lay down plenty of softer plucked and refined moments, in between the wrath and vehement. ‘A Pirate’s Life’ shows a more pliable dimension, as the vocal cooing portrays a touching fling with Jeff Buckley on the paean to love on the high-seas – a proposition that rightfully rings alarm bells, yet is fortunately a surprisingly romantic interlude of pulchritude. This sentiment is suffused throughout; albeit with a sometimes cutting, back-handed, compliment, as found on The White Stripes redolent twisting sonnet, ‘Dumb Blonde’; or with the forlorn sullenness found on the closing lament, ‘Are You A Man Or A Mannequin?’ – “It’s a brave new world, and I’ve been cowering in the courtyard”.

If nothing else, We Cut Corners prove, yet again, that you can make a right royal racket with just a guitar and drum kit – though to be fair, there’s obviously lots of multi-layering going on, and the odd extra sound-effect is introduced to create the full grandiose effect on record. Every bit as electric live, they’ve cut their teeth as support for Joan As Policewoman, Villagers, Two Door Cinema and The Maccabees, catch them whilst they’re still a hushed recommendation.

Re -released 25th March 2013 (originally in Ireland 2011 & UK in 2012)

[Rating:3.5]

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.