I’m going to summarise this record in a few words to open this review. This is a simple, immature, juvenile and basic album, and one which doesn’t do anything whatsoever new.
And you know what? I fucking love it. I really, really do.
So what do we have here? Simply, it’s fifteen tracks of frantic, raucous skate-punk which grabs you by the lapels within seven seconds of the introduction and doesn’t let go for another twenty-one minutes. It’s a record very much influenced by classic punk bands such as The Ramones (via Teenage Bottlerocket), with second track There’s Nothing Down In The Basement continuing the cellar theme of the aforementioned bands. It’s here that we first appreciate the quite frankly insanely quick drumming from Jimmy Campbell. A constant theme across Cut The Cord is the pure speed and tenacity with which the skins are pounded: it really does stand out. It’s also the first time we get a bit of a sampling of the juvenile but well pitched lyrics. At 1:48, too, it’s also one of the longer songs on the record.
Leave Her comes next, with the memorable line “If I leave her, she’ll be chasing me with a meat cleaver”, a classic if I’ve ever heard one. It’s a track which really reminds me of early NoFX (perhaps overlain with very very early Green Day, too), though, with the speed and slightly off-note vocals combining into a real rollercoaster of a song. Third track Call In Sick is fairly self-explanatory, and continues the blueprint set by the previous song, but adds a hugely catchy and surprisingly melodic chorus. I defy you not to be singing along by the time the adrenaline-packed ninety seconds are over.
There are two clear stand-out songs for me here, though. At The Alley is the first one: it’s just the essence of everything I love about punk rock distilled into one-and-three-quarter-minutes of musical perfection. Easy to sing along to and listen to, frantic and catchy-as-fuck, it’s a brilliant, brilliant song and one that I played over, over, over and over again the first time I heard it. Clearly lyrically it’s far from high brow or politicised, but when a song is this on-point, who gives a shit? Sometimes, you just need to let your hair down and have a party.
My other favourite song on this record is the closing one, Humble Pie. It starts off a little differently, with a slower and more ‘sombre’ introduction. It lasts all of forty seconds before the track descends into chaos, the punk rock whirlwind blowing the quieter clouds away. Again, Jimmy’s drumming comes to the fore as the incredible engine behind the band, really motoring them on at a frankly ludicrous pace. Lyrically, too, I like the play on the term ‘humble pie’ Batfoot! have used here: it raises a smile. Once again, though, it’s just the pure distilled essence of fucking good punk rock that is just so likeable and fun in what are dark times.
And I think that’s what I love the most. This is a record to let your hair down to. It’s a record to drink beers to, a record to party to, and a record to enjoy. Don’t think about it. Read the news, and then put Cut The Cord on. Trust me, you’ll have forgotten all the darkness in moments.