Cuffed Up deliver a relentless post-punk sound in their adrenaline-fuelled new EP, Asymmetry.
After bursting onto the scene with their debut EP at the back end of 2019, the L.A based band return with another impressive release, featuring four high-octane tracks which blur the lines between post-punk, indie rock and 90’s grunge.
United by their shared love of UK punk, founders Ralph Torrenfranca and Sapphire Jewell share vocal and guitar duties, whilst bassist Vic Ordonez and Joe Liptock on drums complete the band. The quartet’s expansive style has started to turn heads, gaining support from the likes of KEXP, NME, DIY and Bandcamp. Asymmetry sees them join forces with seasoned produced Brad Wood (Touché Amoré, Smashing Pumpkins, Liz Phair).
Things kick off with Bonnie, a blistering anti-love anthem explored through the eyes of Bonnie and Clyde in an intriguing reimagined narrative. The track is packed full of thumping drums and driving electric guitars, and back and forth vocals between Torrenfranca and Jewell introduce an absorbing dynamic between the two singers that runs throughout the EP.
Next up is Terminal, which encapsulates what Cuffed Up are all about. Powerful drums, pounding bass and screeching guitars joining gritty vocals to form another explosive track. It also features some poignantly honest lyrics, where Torrenfraca opens up about his personal health struggles.
Canaries follows, which is arguably the highlight of the EP. The message of the track entails knowing you are going down the wrong path but ignoring the warning signs (canaries) because of fear of shame. Jewell’s vocals perfectly fit this mood and build tension to a fierce chorus. A number of breaks in the track showcase hazy distorted guitar, and Liptock comes into his own with some epic drumming sequences.
One by One concludes the EP. The track pulses along with more of an indie rock feel to it, without lacking the restless energy of the rest of the EP. This time Torrenfranca takes centre stage with the vocals and the shift in vibe suits his delivery well. The track shows the versatility of their sound and rounds off the EP nicely.
Asymmetry is another solid release from the West Coast band. It’s no wonder they have emerged as one of the most exciting newcomers in the resurgent post-punk scene, and have been likened to contemporaries such as Wolf Alice and Idles. Their sound is not without its faults, but these imperfections add an appealing and authentic live-feel. Cuffed Up are certainly a band with a promising future ahead, and definitely one to keep an eye on.