How does a band like Cutting Pink With Knives follow up their 2006 machine-gun-stuck-on-auto-fire, debut ‘Oh Wow‘? Quite simply really. Those expecting a similar sounding racket will be surprised at the direction Alex, Chris and Eddy have taken. Instead of the relentless pummelling that ‘Oh Wow‘ offered; ‘Populuxxe‘ takes the Cutting Pink sound to new and exciting levels of dance, unhinged chaos and tracks that border on the verge of being actual pop music (just about).
With “Populuxxe‘ the 3 piece have become a more focussed and challenging band, with ideas spilling from them like Captain Rhodes’ intestines from that scene in Day of the Dead. ‘Airz’ is beautiful in its harmonious keyboard/glitch-driven build up, until Eddy’s rampant vocals kick in, forming the track into something that can only be described as ‘groovy‘ (am I allowed to say that?) This isn’t denying the band’s predominately synth-grind sound.
The use of keyboard effects, synthesiser noises, atmospheric interludes and experimentation in both the guitar and bass sound is notable. Gone is the blast-beat rampant noise that dominated their earlier work; it has been replaced by something far more wholesome and superior.
‘Populuxxe‘ is essentially a concept record of sorts. An underlying theme that seems to revolve around most of the tracks is the nature of shapes/sizes/buildings. Songs such as ‘Pyramids‘ with the lyrics “we will rebuild the pyramids, against glass skies and fill empty hearts“; ‘Montreal, Renegade’ with “Redwood, they’ll see though our eyes, but I’ve built skyscrapers which electrify.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â As well as the talk of “distant spheres” on ‘You’re Late’ and the geometrical elegance of “remember the shape of our bodies, if it’s the ocean, or if it’s the sea…ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Other notable highlights include the 80’s sounding ‘Laser Hannon‘ which is like Duran Duran meets early-90’s punk/hardcore and is possibly the finest song they’ve ever written (well, apart from ‘Airz‘.) ‘No Falcons‘ mixes lush piano notes with delicate drumbeats and progressive guitar noise.
At a running time of just over 24 minutes, it’s impressive as to how much CPWK have crammed into this album. Don’t see the short running time as a turn off; this is an album so layered, that repeated listening is practically essential if you desire to get the most out of it. Lyrically; it’s a mathematician’s wet dream. Musically, it’s pop-meets-hardcore at its very finest. A worthy second album from a band that sound like they are having too much fun.