Article by KevW
Much like debut EP 'The Cause... The Defect', KURBd's new offering 'Stitches & Burns' follows their preferred working method of recording songs live and then spending a few days mixing and mastering them. I say "preferred", and that's true, as the trio aren't fans of over-production, but they do admit that this approach is also far more cost-effective than hiring studios and producers and so on. Naturally, this will mean that the music they make has a lo-fi quality, but the style they adopt works well this way - in fact, if you look at similar groups who've become too polished, the end result hasn't been as good. In terms of style, 'Stitches & Burns' still sees grunge as the main influence, but finding an exact copy the pantheon of the genre (Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Mudhoney etc.) isn't easy, yet that's not to say these four songs scream originality, but they don't need or try to.
The title-track crunches into view before a crack as the drums kick in and the guitars open up with a fiery effect, and the lyrics breathe a similar fury at times. They shift the dynamic with tempo changes, harmonies and a wall of noise that pops up during the verses, not to mention some throat-shredding screams and a weighty guitar solo. 'Plastic' is heavier, verging on sludge metal, but it swings itself back into something lighter and more tuneful without losing any force along the way. Here the harmonies work really well when they're allowed a few seconds in the spotlight, but its a menacing beast overall. Light (although not too much of it) is never far away from the shade, and 'Stories (Always)' sums this up quite well, again bringing in those harmonies, a quiet introduction and some nice melodies, but then slamming into you with a chorus that's like a punch in the face. It could be argued that '86-88' is the standout on the EP, stretching out all the ingredients that make KURBd what they are to almost eight minutes. Guitars stutter and grind and fuzz, tempo changes are present and correct, those harmonies are here again, and it manages to not get boring even at such a long duration. You always want to see good bands do well, but these guys work best without the glitz and glamour that major deals and expensive production can offer. Who needs proper studios anyway?
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