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Review: K.C.U.F. – Every Day is Winter Here

From the moment the drums kick in on the first song “Red Red Red” you know that this is going to be a fun ride. The lyrics to this song as well as all the others are written with a poetic and often painful truth, while the melodies are fun and catchy. K.C.U.F. is Pop Punk for sure, but that doesn’t make them bubble gum pop. This band is not afraid to bleed for you. The emotions are on full display here, nothing is held back and the result is a fully immersed musical experience. 

“Red Red Red” is so catchy in fact that you decide too quickly that the band must have put their best song up front. That is not a strange way to set up a recording; often bands do this to grab the attention of any possible interested parties that may be listening. When the second song “Drinking Season” comes on you realize that this is not the case. The truth is any track on this six-song release could be a single. These guys really know how to write a hook and it is a talent they are not afraid to exploit. 

Pop Punk is a genre with two defining characteristics and these guys are not only laying claim to one of them. The punk intensity is found throughout these songs. The ripping rifs of Chris Jackson and Mike Barone on guitars are accompanied by the blistering pace of Ken Bousquet  on drums and Aria Rad on bass. This band is tight and powerful. 

“Drinking Season” is a perfect example of the painful truth to be found in the lyrics. The first verse is addressing someone else and the chorus asks “Hey who are you kidding? You’re not even in the race”. This would seem like a harsh attack, but then comes the second verse where the singer turns the judgmental eye back on himself leading up to the same chorus only slightly altered “Hell who am I kidding? I’m not even in the race.” This ability to self reflect is found throughout these songs and it is as refreshing as it is honest. 

The song “Scars” has the most punk energy on this record. With haunting lyrics expressing the dance of love and pain and the desire to hold on to a moment, screaming “I don’t ever want to leave here, I don’t ever want to go, I don’t ever want to know what lies beyond your front door.” 

“Drop The knife” is an impressive song dealing with self-destructive behavior which it defends by explaining the truth behind the motives, the need for control of something, anything in our lives. In the end the song reflects “Was it worth the pain and heartbreak? Was it worth this fucking song?” 

“Drop The Knife” ends with the music coming down and then perfectly segwaying into “Drafty”. So many bands have lost the art of the perfect segue, these guys certainly have not. For this reason I feel it is important to mention that this release is available on a beautiful colored 12-inch vinyl pressing which is the best way to enjoy the previously mentioned amazing segue. This brings you into the slower part of the recording, but don’t mistake tempo for power. The power of this song is as strong as ever.

The last song is “Funeral Tie” and this is the song that My Chemical Romance wishes they wrote. Trust me when I say you will be singing the chorus of this song long after you finish listening to it. I even experimented with this theory with some of my friends and my kids. After the song was over they all mentioned that they were still singing along to the chorus in their heads. This is my favorite track, but as I mentioned before, these songs are all so catchy that any track could easily be your favorite. It seemed to me that this six-song release just gets better and better as it goes. 

The thing I loved most about this album is that winter is obviously the theme of the recording. The title Every Day is Winter Here, comes from a lyric in the song “Drinking Season”, but this is not the last time winter is mentioned on this release. The theme is throughout and it is solid. This is a winter album, no doubt about it. Not only is winter mentioned as the actual time period of the songs, it is also being used metaphorically. Winter is that time of isolation and often dark unforgiving reflection. After a year of Pandemic lockdowns the idea of a never ending winter is something I think we are all too familiar with. As the Spoken part at the end of “Drafty” says “It’s cold out there today, it’s cold out there everyday.”

– Jim Phelps

Featured photo by Dominic Geehan