Review of Disorientation Album by Deep Cut

In this age where genre boundaries collide and integrate, it would be churlish to saddle London quintet Deep Cut with any polarised tag or label, particularly one that might just cause potential suitors to walk the other way. Although borne out of the shoegaze movement of the early 1990s - founder member Mat Flint used to play with capital based three-piece Revolver, best known for singles like 'Heaven Sent An Angel' and 'Crimson' back in the day - there's a concoction of hidden depths throughout the twelve pieces that make up 'Disorientation' that elevates both record and band far beyond any salubrious pigeonhole.

Deep Cut Disorientation Album

Of course since Revolver's demise in the mid-nineties, Flint is perhaps better known for playing bass with Death In Vegas. Having formed Deep Cut in 2006 initially as a side-project with wife Emma Bailey on vocals, brother Simon Flint alongside fellow DIV-er Ian Button on guitars and drummer Paddy Bailey, its been something of a slow process for the band to make themselves heard. Having put out a couple of singles to mixed responses, 2009's debut long player 'My Thoughts Light Fires' made little impression in Europe to the point where many lesser bands would probably have just given up the ghost there and then.

But then Deep Cut aren't just any other band, and having inked a deal with much-revered independent Club AC30 a few months later, Flint and co. set to work on its follow-up, the fruits of their labour paying dividends by the bucketload. What the resulting 'Disorientation' captures is a band brimming with ideas, not constrained by record label policies or media trends, and more importantly, displays a panache for throwing in the odd hand grenade and changing its musical course when least expected.

While ambient opener 'Inner Star' draws comparisons with Lush or Insect Guide, mainly due to Emma Bailey's choral tones, the transient adrenalin rush of 'Dead Inside Your Heart' and brass-infused full throttle punk pop of 'Next Disaster' already demonstrate more strings to Deep Cut's make-up than your average musical bow would cater for. And there's plenty more besides. The sprawling dub that elevates 'Magazine' into a higher realm entirely could quite easily pass itself off as a choice cut the likes of Eat Static would be proud to call their own while Megadog DJs queue happily to spin such an elegiac 45. Meanwhile, 'Decision Time' follows the Germanic path set by Neu!, building steadily along simultaneous loops of keyboard and guitar respectively.

There are times when 'Disorientation' rigidly sticks to the shoegaze rulebook. Both lead single 'Something's Got To Give' and the penultimate 'Out Of Nothing' ably suggests why they've been shoehorned into such a genre, while the tirelessly chirpy 'About Face' bounces around radiantly like 'Blue Bell Knoll' era Cocteau Twins.

Its when Deep Cut throw a spanner in the works like on cacophonous headfuck 'Makes Me Wanna' or hypnotic 'Another Look In The Mirror' that 'Disorientation' works best, the former ensuring the album's fever pitch is reached at its mid-point while the latter provides a more soothing finale at the record's outset.

Overall, 'Disorientation' is a deftly constructed album oozing personality and invention that should guarantee Deep Cut won't remain a largely unknown quantity for much longer.


Dom Gourlay

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