Cut to Fit was formed in '08, and since then they've released two demos (one reviewed here) and two EP's. This particular release is the earlier one of these EP's. The band gained my interest due to their relentless attitude and their ability to keep their expression ever-tightening, and very varying between their releases.
The songs are short and concise for the most part. They've made of mid-part-riffs that sound quite a bit like thinned death metal played too fast, and between these mid-paced parts there's some simpler, even punk-style riffs played with the usual grindcore tempo. Even though these riffs are usually between good and great quality, the soundscape (more about it later) makes them sound stale and eats up a lot of their aggression. The songs vary a lot between slower and really fast tempos, maybe even too much as after many, many listens I still can't quite grasp the EP. It has too much stuff on it, with the few samples, ambient interludes and the acoustic outro track. It's all of great quality, but no matter how one tries the EP doesn't get a hold of the listener. It sounds good no matter how you listen to it, but doesn't leave a permanent image.
The transitions between lower and higher vocals don't sound good, they sound a bit hasty and don't create the aggression and impact they should. The vocals themselves are very good though, especially the higher shrieks sound really cutting and aggressive, even original. The low vocals add some variation to the shrieking, but they'd need more grit to really have an impact. Both of the vocal styles present the lyrics in an even oddly audible way, which is simply great in grindcore.
The soundscape is oddly somewhere between shitty and great, and very interesting. The guitar sound is distorted and even buzzy, but the riffs are still very clear; a lot of this owes to the somewhat thin sound, amplified by the lack of a bass guitar. Each drum hit is also audible, but especially the plates and other metallic hits sound cheaply self-recorded. They're basically not bad at all, but they have this odd thinness to them, the same way as the guitars but more noticeably. The triggered and sharp snare-sound adds to the release's divided feel. It sounds very fast and despite it's triggered nature it doesn't sound too plastic, it just sounds amplified and sharpened. It doesn't really add any flesh to the soundscape, but it gives the release a lot of it's character along with the shrieking vocals. The snare covers the riffs quite a bit in the fastest parts, but it's not a too big bother as it makes these parts sound very aggressive.
The EP's visual side is as personal as the soundscape. The four-panel booklet features a simplistic drawing made in black&white on a greeny yellow background on it's both sides, themed around a post-fallout landscape and some topics from the lyrics. This is quite basic grindcore imagery, but with a good personal touch, effort and care from the band. The lyrics (only partly featured on the release) vary between decent and great, and are mostly criticism towards current world politics, corporate businessmen all the people that have lost touch with the real world, along with some less on-topic subjects that have just pissed off the lyricist at the time. The band is not preaching though, they're just stating their opinion.
A part of me wants to give this EP a higher grade, and a part lower. It's very difficult to grasp, but offers something daring, fresh and refreshing goodness from the field of grindcore.