Cuecliché, a three-piece skate pop-punk band based in the UK, has recently released their second, self-recorded EP titled Look at the Pictures. Following up their 2017 debut release One Last Chance, Look at the Pictures bears the mark of an ever-so-slightly matured group of young males figuring their shit out by way of their music. The reason I mention maturity is because I reviewed their initial EP for Bucketlist, and one of my main contentions (which I guess kind of dates me, but oh well) was the fact that skate pop-punk, with its whiny vocals and teenage angsty lyrics, just doesn’t do it for me. However, these guys requested I give their new release a shot to see what they have done since. I respect that kind of tenacity, so I agreed…
While I have mentioned what I did not like, of the things I did like about One Last Chance was the sheer energy harnessed in certain moments of its tracks. These hinted at a potentially more mature, nuanced and heavier sound. A year later, Look at the Pictures gracefully leans a little more towards what could be an awesome and well-developed tone, however this is only really showcased in two of the five tracks. To my ears, you could almost subdivide the EP into two very different bands; transitions between tracks roll from an extremely positive switch to a somewhat disappointing one. Tracks “Save Me,” “Puzzle Piece,” and “Prince Of Nowhere” are a continuation of a lot of the elements I don’t really care for. With lyrics like, “Will I fit in/I’m getting sick of this life I’m living,” and “I’m scared I will never be good enough,” these tracks are partially redeemed by short bursts of a guitar solo here and there.
In a totally different vein, “Take It Away” sounds like it was written by entirely different people – in a good way. The vocals are sung in a much lower pitch, making them considerably less whiny, and the track is both heavy and fast, featuring a fantastic metal-style guitar solo. After hearing “Save Me,” this song will completely change your opinion of the EP. I am all for dynamism, but if the whole EP sounded a lot more like this track, this review would be a different story. Again picking up the pieces after its predecessor, “It’s Over” opens with the best riff of all five tracks and almost sounds like it could be on a Deftones album. While the vocals are a bit less impressive than the instrumentation, this track as well as “Take It Away” display an impressive progression for Cuecliché.
Written by Jordan Hodgins
*edited by Kate Erickson