This is a review of "Don't Cut Me Out" recorded by Ten Seconds Of Chaos. The review was written by Sam Saunders in 2004.
Within the limitations of full-on rock guitar-band music Ten Seconds of Chaos squeeze out every possibility to maximum effect. They have an excellent EP here, with no reason at all why they shouldn’t rise to the top of this section of the Leeds Festival heap.
What a treat it is to hear a band leading track one bar one with a confident, aggressive and well-recorded drum attack. Well done to Sam Leach. No rock band should dare go out at night without someone this good. And so it continues. There's nothing flashy, no one's playing outside their (generous) limits and the whole package looks and sounds like the real thing. It’s up to the kids in the black t shirts to sit up and take notice now, and the big stage awaits.
"Contempt Breeding Frustration" howls that "it’s not OK / I'm not fine!" and with Matt Higgins young-sounding, genuine voice, it comes nowhere near the artificial angst that spreads its dank pall over so much fuzzed chord wock. The power and focus of the three instrument assault is perfectly maintained. Moshpit frenzy.
"Miss Farmer" is a lighter tune, with the power kept in reserve for the later section. It also has Matt singing a beautifully pure line with no silly reverb and no histrionics. It works very well. As a tune it could easily be a second section of track one – which is what I thought it was at first. It has a good crisp finish.
"Don’t Cut Me Out" is the final and title track. It mixes in some non-rock bits with playful neatness. Did I hear some Andy Summers-ish guitar? Yes, indeed I did. Cheeky monkeys. It works. There's also Metallica-scale gnurliness in the backdrop guitar wash. Plus a bit of unobtrusive but effective electronica/sampling stuff (programming credits to Sam Leach). Paul Relton does the business in the bass department with very tidy, strong playing.
So. Obviously not the kind of artyfarty mould-breaking stuff that has me hopping about – but, like Leeds' prog-rockers Xi, Ten Seconds of Chaos have a genuine voice of their own, with the dedication and skill that makes their chosen music work in a seriously good way. Hurrah for that...