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Cusp turns up the fuzz on emotional debut EP


Cusp is a Rochester-based quartet that’s made up of members of Full Body 2 (formerly known as Full Body) and Rut. The quartet’s debut EP, “Spill,” was released on Dadstache Records on May 7 and serves as a striking and fantastic first offering.

Recorded in several cities across New York state, “Spill” is a five-song collection that combines bursts of fuzzed-out guitars with introspective angst. Cusp’s wandering, complex arrangements match perfectly with the intense guitars and vocalist Jen Bender’s shaky, monotone delivery. The debut EP is a rapid-fire display of off-kilter melodies and raw emotionality.

The opening title track sets the tone for the rest of the EP, with its treble-heavy and unsteady backdrop; it’s a superb showcase of the band's signature cyclonic style. “Not Certified” is a gut punch that’s insanely catchy, with its hyper-contagious hook and urgent melodicism. “Illusion Controlling” glides through a raucous start-stop rhythm, overflowing with the chaos of sprawling guitars. The closer, “Missing the Part,” is entrancing with its mellow dissonance, until it’s spiked with the band’s onslaught of guitar distortion at the song’s climax.

There’s an abundance of honest emotion to be found throughout Cusp’s debut EP, from Bender’s brooding lyricism to the whiplash-inducing guitar lines. Cusp’s crushing and direct style — combining unbridled post-hardcore with clattering post-punk — is a reminder that it's certainly a band to watch.

Joe Massaro is a freelance writer for CITY. Feedback on this article can be directed to