While on a back road cutting through Ohio an album came across my eyes and swung through my ears. The band that created said album is Cutler Station, and the album is Meat, No Sides. Their fifth record dating back to 2010. Among many things this album is good. A respite from the many rabbit holes one can find themselves going down given the current climate. The album holds steady with their authentic sound, and honest lyrics. Storytelling that flies at the surface and likes where it is.
About a year ago I heard about these folks, Cutler Station. Didn’t really know much about them and saw that they were working on this record. Once I started listening, I was pleasantly happy. I had no idea what to expect with this record, or the self-titled record I had just listened to at that time, but I was in, all in. There sound on the previous record called Cutler Station locked me in, and when this new one dropped well here are the words describing why I liked it so much. This record whether they know it or not are playing with some styles all in one song sometimes, and that’s what I love. Take “Country Store Country” for example. There is reggae happening, rock, and country. It’s like they took a blender threw in everyone that they liked or have been influenced by, or whatever, hit blend, maybe pulsed a couple times to chop up the hard bits, and what poured into that glass was and is this record and Cutler Station. That is one of the beautiful things about music, you don’t have to be beholden to one style or one genre, and Cutler Station makes that seem effortless.
As my tenth listen rambled on “Autozone Parking Lot Kids” came on, and yes that is the name of one of their songs. A song about kids that just hang out in an AutoZone parking lot took me back and around my childhood. This album took me on a ride in general through the highways I’ve paved in my head with music and adventures. These guys do some things on this record that I just haven’t heard before, or in a while. Like synth and pedal steel, together. I’m not entirely sure if I’ve ever heard that on a record before. Maybe I have and just didn’t notice. I digress, for me though what do you have to say? Lyrics are just as important to me than the sonics.
For the ten songs they dealt with things that didn’t look any further than the concrete, or mowed lawn beneath your feet. For the ten songs it was parking lot kids, boredom, and everyday life of growing older and creating some great songs. Then the song “Dream” talked about revolution and change in a Cutler Station way. Again, themes within the songs that aren’t going over your head. It’s like sitting at a table and laying out all your stuff, and saying “well, here it is.” Then doing a kind of Vana White hand motion. These songs are honest, fun, and true to life.
Thirty-seven minutes flew by. Ten songs of a form of music that I was pleasantly happy to hear. Something real and authentic to them. Their story, and their sound. Their sound is like many things and sounds like a hodge podge of all different kinds of bands that have influenced them, and I will let you the listener make those determinations. I thoroughly enjoyed this record, and plan on listening to it for an eleventh time. In the meantime, I will let their band bio close this out. Once shows resume I would highly recommend checking these fellas out on stage near you. Here is their bio to sum this whole thing up which I could have led with, but then you wouldn’t have gotten this far:
“Somewhere in the backwoods of Appalachian Ohio lives an unorthodox – yet – affable sapient creature knit together of volatile melodies, visceral power – pop energy, and scathing intellectual prowess – and its name is Cutler Station.”