Album Notes - Cut Capers - Metropolis

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Of the many curiosities the 90s brought us, one of the most peculiar was undoubtedly the "swing revival." For a few good years it seemed as if you couldn't escape this throwback genre, one based on the big band style popularized over a half a century earlier. Springing up in movies like The Mask and fittingly, Swingers, most incredibly it was featured in the 1999 Super Bowl halftime show. Pinstripe suits and bowler hats had somehow found a home outside of mafia movies in mainstream culture. To the relief of many, the fad didn't last. Groups like Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and the Brian Setzer Orchestra, while both still currently active, largely became a musical footnote. Yet out of this boom came electro swing. Equally loved and maligned, it found a home in Europe much more firmly than in America. If the swing revival begat its EDM-infused manifestation, certain listeners among us can only hope the latter will itself breed a more palatable art form.

Which brings us to today. You can and should label Cut Capers and their second album Metropolis "swing." That is not wrong. It also might detrimentally fail to fully encompass what the Bristol nonet is throwing down. Depending on the track, it might be more accurate to say "hip hop/swing," "reggae/swing," "dance/swing," "funk/swing," or "gypsy/swing." Seemingly every type of swing except the one you'd find on a playground. In the end, the nomenclature is inconsequential; it's just good music. The horns have some serious balls, matched perfectly by the kinetic bass. Jane Thomas' vocals weave around this bouncy backdrop, alternating with Eloy Sinser's raps to elevate the dance grooves to catchy singalongs. One imagines the band's sound and energy would translate even better live, the recording studio the only thing holding them back. Regardless, the objective of Cut Capers' entire second album is spelled out in the title of its first track: Get Movin'. 
 

 

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