Album review: THE KUT – Valley Of Thorns

THE KUT - Valley Of Thorns

Cargo Records [Release date 13.04.18]

Formed in 2005 by frontwoman and self-taught multi-instrumentalist Princess Maha (she sings and plays guitar, bass, drums and piano), this London based all-female 3 piece have been frequently mentioned in the same breath as Courtney Love and Hole.

Heavily active on the live music scene, with a handful of EP/single releases over recent years, the line-up has tended to fluctuate around Maha, with current incumbents of the rhythm section roles Stella Vie (bass/backing vocals) and Diana Barmann (drums/ backing vocals).

Influenced by 90′s grunge acts like Nirvana, Deftones, and L7, lauded by the mainstream print media and radio (Kerrang!, in particular), and with Marshall Amps endorsement,  it’s not unreasonable to expect some abrasion, some attitude and, most likely, some foul mouthing.

Valley Of Thorns, the band’s Pledge Music funded debut album, doesn’t disappoint in any of those aspects.  It’s an album packed with brash, grungy guitars and edgy, raw, punky chorus lines.

Long term devotees will be a little disappointed to find that of the 10 tracks that make up Valley Of The Thorns, half have featured on EP releases dating back as far as 2014.  But, on the other hand, it gives the rest of us a chance to catch up with the ‘story so far’, which isn’t such a bad thing given the band’s earlier singles are long out of print.

There’s an edginess here that will appeal to those looking to ‘pay back’ the neighbours, or just get under Mom and Dad’s skin – ‘Bad Man’, in particular, being the most likely to cause offence.  It’s like an unholy union between The Pistols and Eighties Sunset Strip Glam.  Ugly, but incomprehensibly seductive.  A bad girl ‘come on’.

It’s not subtle, but, in fairness, it’s not aimed at someone with an active interest in their State Pension forecast.  ***1/2

Review by Pete Whalley

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