Tussle - Cream Cuts
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Cream Cuts

Although I haven't checked in with them since their debut album Kling Klang, Tussle have certainly stayed busy with not only releasing new work and touring, but collaborating with a slew of different artists on the side. Before the release of their newest album, they also went through a lineup change, and they've now landed on a lineup with two drummers, a bassist, and a knob-twiddler (aka electronics, although most members of the group do their own thing with processing as well). The result is new work that still finds the group working their rhythm-heavy workouts in a way that's more engaging than the past, pulling in everything from dub to disco and kraut for a heady, yet danceable potion.

Speaking of dub, the group dips their toe in just slightly with the album-titled opener of "Cream Cuts," but it only rattles around for about a minute before the group launches into the thumping "Saturnism," which opens up with a four-on-the-floor kick but has some disco-punk bass lines added in for syncopation while multiple other layers of percussion spray off in all kinds of directions. As with most tracks on the release, there's only a minimal amount of melody, with little synth bursts and other electronic squiggles filling in some spaces. Mostly, though, it's all about the beat and the bass, with "Third Party" again taking on a sort of an infected dance punk vibe, while "Rainbow Claw" gets downright no-wave, with screeching synths and all kinds of banging percussion that would make the perfect soundtrack for racing down a dark alley.

The release closes out with a couple of the better tracks, and both "Titan" and "Meh-Teh" keep things both locking in and changing up for well over six minutes apiece. The latter especially lifts off into some noisy washes that provide some nice dynamics for a group who's mostly about getting the groove on. If you're a person who needs solid melodies to really get you to fall in love with a song, you're definitely coming to the wrong place with Cream Cuts. There are plenty of polyrhythms, but not much to hum along with. A big step up from their debut, this one will be much loved by riddim heads.

rating: 7.2510
Aaron Coleman 2008-08-28 20:34:24