Record Label: Wirebird Records Release date: 06/09/10 Link: Official Site Buy: Amazon It’s hard to believe anyone could seriously think the cover for Cut(s) would make a strong selling point, a cake with a slice out of it, a horrendous play on the ‘cuts’ theme if you didn’t pick up on that. Though it does have some connection to the concept behind this EP. Cut(s) essentially is a re-working of a selection of tracks from the London trio’s acclaimed debut album Suite(s) and if you already knew that, then the cover makes lots of sense. The music on Cut(s) is centred around acoustic guitars and sampling, what the band like to describe as ‘loopcoustica’ a supposedly new genre, though it will sound familiar to fans of chill-out compilations. The veracity of their genre-inventing is debatable but even if it’s not a completely new sound, it’s undoubtedly another success for Ex Libras. Opening track ‘For Us, For Me’, based on their excellent single ‘Underachiever’ is so beautifully ethereal and gentle it makes the original sound leaden and overwrought. However Cut(s) is not merely ‘Ex Libras unplugged’, there’s some level of musical experimentation here and it’s a sign of the band’s ambition that ‘Teenage Eyes’ (based on 'Phat Knickers') with it’s unusual flickering beat and prolonged instrumental breakdown, doesn’t seem like the obvious choice for a lead single, yet that’s precisely what it is. Their ability to bring new elements into their music makes for a more fulfilling EP. It’s still not much of change from Suite(s) anyway and this will likely do nothing to hurt the band’s fan base. For people unfamiliar with the band, close your eyes and try to imagine Amnesiac-era Radiohead mixed with elements of Massive Attack and whatever else you'd like to imagine with your eyes closed, no judgement here, then you'll have a pretty close approximation. There's little to choose between this EP and the album, both demonstrate what Ex Libras are capable of, though there’s a few times on Cut(s) where the music seems to fit better than it does with the originals, so maybe this is the way forward for the band? Let’s wait patiently until we find out, we can listen to this in the meantime. Photobucket