CUSPS consists of Daniel Twombly and J. Sehorn. Meeting as co-workers at an audio-visual company led to them forming the group as an intersection between their own unique sounds. Their newest album Out for blood is their most rock-focused record yet. They explore new directions with their already sonically diverse sound. The inspiration they bring to this project adds weight to the harder-hitting sound with a muse channeled from living in late-stage capitalism. The music of CUSPS blurs many lines and is in many ways a reflection of modern sounds, media, and life.
Listen to Out for Blood here
The first track “Shrapnel” starts off with an aggressive beat. After a wild and violent first impression, the song leans in to a chorus as a groovy rhythm starts to emerge out of the chaos. A choir-like blend of vocals drift through the track creating a grand spectacle. A dirty guitar tone lies under the exaggerated synths, making “Shrapnel” feel like an fast-paced indie-rock track ran through heavy industrial machinery.
The title track “Out for Blood” encapsulates everything that makes this project special, a mix of dreamlike sounds and textures with an off-kilter beat to catch you off guard. The vocal flow floats above it all, elucidating us with poetry about modern life. Other elements come in shimmering and chopped up, vaguely recognizable like a mirage in the desert.
“Liquid City” is another standout track, a groovy guitar and punchy drums push this into the indie-rock rock realm. The guitar, drums, and vocals on the chorus are compressed to an extreme that gives the song a grit that is far from the over-sanitized production of other contemporaries. It is exciting to hear the new direction that CUSPS is driving towards on songs like “Liquid City.” Their sound has always been a fusion of influences, and on Out for Blood they have mastered a new harder, driving sound.
Watch the video for “Activated” here
Out for Blood ends off with “Activated,” opting for a slower and more introspective vibe to cap this project off. The synths, minimalistic guitar, and percussion lay over the song like an ethereal fog before being washed away. The vocals take on a soulful flow that switches up into a hypnotic rhythm. Eschewing traditional song structure “Activated” meditates on a particular atmosphere, drawing the listener in. This track released as a single alongside a music video with equally enigmatic imagery. “Activated” ends Out for Blood leaving the listener with much to think about.