A Cute Sense of Poise and Rationality

This is an archived post from Wishes on Eyelashes, a previous incarnation of this site.

They have been lumped in the same genre as American new wave indie bands like Panic! At The Disco and Fall Out Boy, but unlike most of their counterparts Cute Is What We Aim For write songs, not melodies.

Every now and again a band comes along that reshapes the way the whole nation hears, lives and breathes music. Cute Is What We Aim For aren’t that band, but nor are they trying to be, and that’s why we like them.

The music that young teenagers listen to has moved on a long way since the mid 90’s days of throwaway cheesy pop, and even the likes of Busted and McFly have been pushed aside in recent years in favour of more elaborate, adult, guitar-driven music.

The latest band to take advantage of this are Cute Is What We Aim For, originating from Buffalo, USA and signed to the ever more popular Fueled By Ramen indie label. Although all four members are nearly out of their teens, it is an age range that they can still relate to.

Their debut album, ‘Same Old Blood Rush With A New Touch’ hit the shelves last September, albeit with mute applause. Despite this, the record is an extremely elaborate piece of work, dispelling any myths that they are just another MOR new wave indie band. Of the 12 tracks there are notable highlights including the power-pop ‘Risque’ and the heartfelt ‘Lyrical Lies’.

While ‘Same Old…’ opens with a riff and vocals sounding not dissimilar to Placebo, over the course of its 42 minutes many musical types are touched upon, and many lyrical genres are explored. Singer Shaant describes the record as “power pop with intellectual lyrics,” but this is doing themselves a bit of a disservice as there are numerous moments where CIWWAF go a lot deeper than this.

Of course with the indie new wave there is the inevitable glam, left over from the goth era and morphed carelessly by youngsters into what they call emo. “Restitch my ripped jeans / and take the old ones out back / sew them tight at the seams please” sings Shaant on ‘Teasing to please’, offering fashion advice to the teens that hang off of his every word.

Thankfully, unlike some of their peers, they have yet to reach the eyeshadow and old-skool Converse stage. Comparisons aside, at the heart of it CIWWAF are a band that have moved on well from the drivel that teenagers used to listen to.

Although they may be far too similar to label mates Fall Out Boy and new-found icons Panic! At The Disco, they have adopted the same structured, precise approach to their music, and that can only be a good thing. After all, it’s much better to face these kinds of things with a sense of poise and rationality, you know.

Cute Is What We Aim For play a sold-out gig at Yeovil Ski Lodge on Friday 2 February and will be signing copies of their album earlier in the day at Acorn Music from 6pm.