Saturday, 14 June 2014

The Cutthroats 9 - Dissent (Album Review)

Dissent cover art

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 3/6/2014
Label : Lamb Unlimited / Reptilian

The Cutthroats 9 “Dissent” CD/LP) track listing :

1). Speak
2). Trouble
3). Eraser
4). Hit The Ground
5). Dissension
6). We Could
7). Induction

Bio :

Founded at the turn of the millennium by guitarist/vocalist Chris Spencer, following the hiatus of his primary band, Unsane, THE CUTTHROATS 9 took the artist’s easily-recognized guitar tone and vocal delivery into a slightly less metallic and definitely more rock direction. The band instantly began touring and releasing material, their debut single, You Should Be Dead, came out on Reptilian Records in late 1999, which was followed the following year by their self-titled debut LP via legendary cult stoner rock label, Man’s Ruin. 2001 saw the release of their Anger Management EP via Reptilian, and while the band continued touring over the following years, the EP would be their final release before disbanding in 2004. With Unsane back on the map in the later 2000s, Spencer’s involvement in Celan and more have filled his time over recent years, but mid-2013 saw the reformation of THE CUTTHROATS 9, and the recording of their newest works in thirteen years, now prepared to hit the streets as their second official LP, Dissent.

The Band :

Chris Spencer | Vocal, Guitar
Will Carroll | Drums
Tony Baumeister | Bass

Review :

There are moments in time for music lovers where you stumble upon a goldmine that changes your views on music, perhaps only fleetingly but maybe forever. That moment for me was 1998 and I was 16. A buddy of mine got this CD, called Occupational Hazard by Unsane, he hated it and I consequently ended up finding my aforementioned goldmine! This was like everything I loved about Helmet but on 10 and angrier. Needless to say cracking into this Cutthroats release, brought me back to some teenage excitement and dare I say giddy school boy grins.

The Cutthroats 9 were formed by Chris Spencer of Unsane in 2000 during a hiatus. Their self titled EP was released that same year with the subsequent release Anger Management, which took loosely from Unsane’s sound, while adding a somewhat bluesy vibe mainly due to the slide guitar’s implementation.

The band took its own break in 2003 when Unsane reformed, leading many people to believe it was a finished project, but alas Cutthroats 9 return with a heavier fury on ‘Dissent’. A few weeks back the band released “Dissension” the first single from the new release. Opening with an eerie sludged out slide line that is frankly perfect. There is no questioning who is running this ship, Spencer is front and centre with those distinctive tones both vocally and guitar wise.

I think some Unsane fans dodge theses release because they somehow get a rap for being more bluesy than sludge. Those fans are F**king missing out. 3 tracks in, we have “Eraser”, the bass tone, F**K! That combined with that high almost off putting slide guitar creates something like the musical equivalent to fly paper. You are just stuck there getting ripped apart by Spencer and Co. Don’t let the slide guitar steer you from it as Chris says on “Hit The Road” Just try to understand.

Records like these don’t come around often enough and it’s a shame, because it’s such a short release. Nonetheless records like these are why players have repeat functions, CT9 deliver in a way that most bands attempt to and fall on their asses.

Oddly the slide in my opinion creates a soulful vibe at times amidst the chaos. Of course this is the internet so feel free to disagree. All in All this record is a must have for any noise rock/sludge lovers. The album has no lull points.

I could go on and on about each track but I am unable to pick a favourite here, it’s a short record that deserves to be heard as a whole and honestly it is most likely amazing live! I will say “Induction” stands out, as the album’s closer a slow moving grinder and the only song on the record I noticed had a low tuning but it fits perfect. It pushes and pulls you, like a drunk starting a fight. No worries though, you will survive and be a better person for it. If you like Unsane you will love this record, it is full of head nodding doomers!


Be sure to catch them on tour with Black Cobra if you are in the US on the west coast.

Until Next Time!

Words by : Stephen T. Barton

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