Released in June 2015 Kuts is the second album by Matt Skiba and The Sekrets, Matt Skiba from Alkaline Trio’s solo project. For Skiba’s previous solo effort I criticised the album for sounding incredibly similar to current Alkaline Trio efforts, so much so that it could have been one. However considering how I’m a big fan of Alkaline Trio I didn’t really mind all that much.
With Kuts it defninitly seems to me that Matt has tried to move slightly further away from his Alkaline Trio work. Straight away you can tell that the album has been recorded and mixed differently. Gone is the clinical and pristine sound, instead replaced with a far more open and relaxed feel. The drums especially stick out. They’ve replaced the crisp, punk snare and the tight kick drum so they have a looser and more airy sound. Personally I do prefer the previous style, but this works well for the record.
Hunter Burgan and Jarrod Alexander return again but once again it feels like they’re underutilized. That said, maybe the slight shift in style was down to Skiba relaxing his total control over the project and allowing these guys in?
The songs themselves are slower and less punchy than on the debut album, more relaxed you could say. Once again they rely heavily on the use of synthesisers, not that that is a bad thing of course. As normal with any project involving Matt Skiba the lyrics are brilliantly relatable and catchy as well. The man has a gift for a good hook, simple as that.
At 32 minutes long Kuts could be accused of being on the short side. Like it’s predecessor it has ten tracks but the songs fly by. You can take that notion as both a pro or a con really and you certainly don’t feel robbed or short changed by the record. I guess, I’m always up for a little more Skiba.
Overall, Kuts is a good album and if you’re a fan of Matt Skiba’s previous discography then you’ll find enjoy this record as well. I’d say that I do prefer Babylon between the two, but I could listen to both all day long in my car quite happily.
Verdict: Thumbs Up
If you enjoyed this review why not check out some more of mine, including THIS REVIEW for ‘Babylon‘ the debut album from Matt Skiba and The Sekrets.