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Sunday, 7 October 2012

Cutting Pink With Knives - Populuxxe

I'm all about the represses at the moment, it seems. Following from Biffy and Bear vs Shark, this time we're moving slightly later in the alphabet to Cutting Pink With Knives (henceforth CPWK 'cause I'm lazy, okay?) and their second album Populuxxe. This repressing is a celebration of the album's 5th anniversary released on their bassist's wonderful label Holy Roar, and comes with THREE BONUS TRACKS because everyone loves a good bonus track. I got it from the Holy Roar store where it's available for a reasonable £12 or £20 with a rad t-shirt (which was totally what I went for). It's probably also worth mentioning that the CD version of this album is an insanely cheap £1.

The whole thing comes in a nice plastic sleeve, which I'm always a fan of. The cover, in case you can't read it, says POPULUXXE. I think it's meant to look like folded paper (the booklet in the CD release offered a guide in making an origami bird of some kind, and various pictures featured them).

Instead of being glued, the outer sleeve is just a single, large, folded piece of paper. Not sure if I like that or not. On the inside of the front cover there is part of the origami guide from the CD release (one of the steps in making a bird base, origami fact fans) and on the inside of the back there are (utterly nonsensical) lyrics and the obligatory thankyous. There is an excellent line towards the end which you can just about make out in the full-size version of this image, that reads "Rhythm 16, Aylburton and Caroline are bonus tracks, cannot remember the lyrics, sorry." which amuses me greatly.

Everything about this release is monochrome, so it should come as no great surprise that it's plain black vinyl here. Even the Pink Mist logo is toned down on the back cover. The B-side label here is the origami bird I've mentioned so many times in this post, and have subsequently tried to make (unfortunately I get lost about halfway through the instructions. Oh) so that's quite nice.

So, see how just above these words that picture lists 19 tracks? Their total length? Under half an hour. Yep. CPWK can, according to last.fm, be described as cybergrind. I'm not sure if that term fully does the band justice, so I'll have to try to explain this cacophony in my own words. This album combines machine-gun drumming, shrieks, synths, and the occasional breakdown, yet has songs that will stick in your head for weeks. It's relentless, absolutely flying through songs (the longest track being 2:19 in length) and reaching its end before you've had chance to take a breath. What lasts, though, is the overwhelming sense of fun. I first listened to this album after seeing the band (I now see, somewhat lazily) compared to Genghis Tron. Sure there are some musical similarities but while GT are at times dark and menacing, CPWK offer nothing but absolute glee. This album is definitely not for everyone, and it is most certainly an acquired taste. To me though, that taste is nothing but sweet and this album is a 30-minute mood-lifter. That it was the band's last is a shame, but what a way to go.

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