You know when you’ve been meaning to check something out properly for ages after an initial listen and it just sorta slips your mind? Well, that happened with The Cut Ups’ ‘Building Bridges, Starting Here’. The end of October and November came and went, and we’re now horrendously late on this review despite really enjoying it on initial listens.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, we can say that ‘Building Bridges, Starting Here’ is the quintessential 2012 British punk rock album, balancing rough around the edge execution with strong melody, not-too-distorted guitar and bits of organ a la The Social Club.

Here, the production does the band a great service by not being too aggressively corrective – the vocals aren’t tweaked to the point that the character is removed, and it’s the slightly flat, slightly strained shouts that really give the album its rich personality.

The instrumentation really isn’t rocket science with The Cut Ups, but each chord, snare hit and thudding bass note are in their rightful place underneath the vocals, making for an engaging and honest listen. It’s this overall vibe that makes it a fine listen, and puts The Cut Ups in strong contrast to the oft ego-flecked rock that’s doing the rounds in the mainstream at the moment.

‘Torches’, ‘I Can’t Do This Alone’ and ‘The Gold War’ are personal favourites, but The Cut Ups seem well aware that it’s a deadly sin to even bother putting out an album with more than a few duff songs on it as a punk band these days (unless you’re NOFX), so you’re guaranteed a good track wherever you pick it up from.

Basics punk rock seems to get a limited amount of attention compared to metalcore, “alt rock” and hardcore at the moment, but the heart of the British scene still feels very much with the punk shows and punk kids. The Cut Ups embody the great things about being part of the scene – good times, good tunes, honesty and friendship. Despite being a little late recommending it, there’s never a bad time to check out a great new band & album, so grab yourself a copy of ‘Building Bridges, Starting Here’ if you haven’t already – you won’t regret it.

TOM AYLOTT