CUD - When In Rome, Kill Me
NME Review. Page 32, 17th June 1989
AS MEMBERS of the Church Of The Sub-Genius, Cud have previously dabbled in quasi-spiritual matters. The aim of this Leeds band is to disturb and shock you out of complacency. Hence, the first side of their debut album is taken up by an il-advised foray into 'Post-Acid House Rock Opera'.
Thanksfully, there's anough humour at work here, so the end result isn't as nail-bitingly 'conceptual' as we might have feared.
Even without spoke-word link-ups the songs would stand up in their own right. 'Only (A Prawn In Whitby)' is certainly ferocious and full of spite, scaping the roof of your mouth with well-intentioned barbed asides.
'When In Rome, Kill Me' sounds like it was recorded in a shoe-box. That;s no big deal. It's about time someone re-injected grunge and distortion into the proceedings. But it's a double-edged Sword of Damacles. Former supporters of their slew of cover versions ('Lola', 'You Sexy Thing') and radio programmers might well be put off by the apparent infelxibility. Carl Puttnam repeats catchphrases in a mantra-like fashion while all around him scabrous guitars create a three-pronged attack.
Side Two is marginally less grating - even though that's an asset. Disembodied voices flutter around while jokes and dodgy similies are bandied about.
Various excursions into neo-psychedelia stand out.Vaguely familiar tunes are rendered distincitive by a rollicking musical undertow not far removed from Bitch Magnet getting sliced in a blender.
All in all it's an amusing enough sidesnipe at rock's vast traditinal heriatage, but no cigar.