When we heard cfit’s debut album ‘Triage’ in 2011, we liked it. We thought it was a collection of good songs by a band with a lot of potential. There was just something lacking. There were no hooks; nothing that would grab your ear and refuse to let go. They were just a hit or two away from widespread recognition.
In the past two years the Dublin based six-piece have been away honing their craft on the live scene. They have moved up the line-up at festivals like Knockanstockan, Hard Working Class Heroes and Vantastival.
It’s a shame then that, despite this progress, the same flaws exist when they hit the studio. ‘Morning Bruises’, their new EP, has the many of the same problems as the album forerunner.
It kicks off with the swirling, dreamy Coke & Spiriters. The arrangements are beautiful and the song has a lovely flow – there are even faint hints of Groove Armada’s At the River (without the sax) at times. The intelligence in Noel Duplaa’s words comes through as well; Coke and Spiriters becoming co-conspirators. It may be six and a half minutes long, but it never drags. It would be a beautiful closing track to an album, but never really kicks things off like an opener should.
Heliophilia and Tenderfoot suffer from similar problems. They’re beautifully arranged and produced – and you can tell cfit are a large band purely from the amount of music they squeeze into one song – but just ring a little bit hollow, drifting into the ether when they’re supposed to make you take notice.
It’s hard to find a mood you’d have to be in to appreciate this EP, and it doesn’t have the length to bring you on an emotional journey. It sounds as though every second of the EP has been over-scrutinised and blunted that little too much as a result. But just before your interest is about to hibernate entirely comes Spitefuck.
Spitefuck, without ever sounding as aggressive or as sexualised as the name implies, is another epic song which serves its purpose perfectly. It’s a go big before you go home number with several changes of tempo, each judged to perfection. One moment it’s tender and intimate, the next it’s grandiose and magnificent.
It builds to a grand crescendo, with all six members working in harmony and it nails the landing. It’s a thoroughly engrossing track. But that leaves you with the biggest disappointment of the EP: as Duplaa sings the closing “Don’t freak out or anything, but I think we’ve gotten stuck spitefucking,” it ends. You may scream for more of the same but the well has run dry.
We still think these guys have the potential to go places and Spitefuck is the perfect example of why. More of that and we’ll be very happy indeed. Just be careful with the other stuff.