"Sonic Wave Love" (CMC International; 1999)cutter.jpg (26007 bytes)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Hailing from Bloomington, Indiana, Cutters bring forth a mixture of styles on their debut "Sonic Wave Love." Balancing guitars, bass, drums, and keyboards/samples, Cutters presents a fairly unique sound albeit a sound for alt-rock or college radio. There's nothing wrong with this record - it just isn't likely to appeal to the fan of or fans of heavy music. Many of the songs feature insistent, driving rhythms; however, this does not classify as hard rock or heavy metal.

Originality counts for something - hence, I'll award Cutters' "Sonic Wave Love" two guitarsaws for braving the musical landscape.  However, I must recommend that unless you're looking for a fresh substitute for something that you might find on college radio, this isn't an album worthy of purchase for the fans of heavy music.

The band takes their name from the classic movie "Breaking Away" about a rebel group of college students who join a bike race and beat better-skilled teams. These rebels called themselves "Cutters."  Cutters, too, are being a bit rebellious by making music that touches upon and crosses the sometimes too well-defined lines of music classification. Blending a Midwest sensibility, a touch of modern electronica, and basic rock, Cutters actually achieve a unique sound.

The disc does reveal a few tracks worthy of repeat listens. "Satisfied" echoes some of the crossover success of electronica as the song has a sweeping keyboard/sample sound under all the driving guitars. "Genie" has a sweet arpeggio guitar line and then describes a young lady's descent into alcoholism. "Belly Down" has a staccato riff reminiscent of Rush and "Happy Water" has a gorgeous vocal line in the chorus. I must admit the lyrics are fairly free of cliches and that may be disc's greatest strength.

Cutters produced themselves on their debut and I'll admit that I think the production values are quite good for this young band.

Cutter is: Tommy Berry, lead vocalist, guitars; Rob Calder, bass; Bill Maki, keyboards, samples; Pete Wilhoit, drums and percussion.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 1999 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 31 Aug 2018 10:36:33 -0400 .