Following on from her debut album Valley Of Thorns Princess Maha (singer/songwriter, all-round musician) delivers her confident follow-up Grit. It’s an album of ten songs with more than a whiff of positivity and personality. It opens with a recent single, the catchy “Animo”. The Kut template has not changed, this is classic Girl /Grunge/Rock/Punk/Pop (insert of amend where necessary?! Fierce snare bashing matches the wah-wah guitar and scratchy bass before Maha’s vocal layering takes over. The clicky guitars continue throughout this confident opener. Clangy guitars greet the intro to “Burn Your Bridges”, which evokes more than a nod to The Runaways among other such luminaries. Beginning somewhat melodic the vocals then become harsher in the chorus. The classic guitar chimes are matched to simple drum-tapping and an ending that simply just fades.

“Not Here For Love” employs a more jagged Punk/Rock feel. The ‘radio friendly’ vocals are paired with chugging guitars throughout; which evoke memories (for me) of Buzzcocks, although this is purely coincidental. Whether autobiographical or personal it’s a song with deep meaning lyrics, while the frenetic drumming in the bridge precede the ‘woah’s’ in the final chorus. ‘Brother’ has a delicate snare pattern before a strange ‘Dwayne Eddy’ slide guitar influence breaks out. The vocals are delivered virtually spoken word as it gently meanders on, while those slide guitars take centre stage in the bridge and through to its conclusion.

“On My Own” retreats back to more familiar Kut territory – woah’s aplenty, thumping drums, and more personal lyrics. Direct and honest (but to my ears) “woah heavy”. “Runaways” opens with a throbbing bass and clangier guitars on this album highlight. As well as the powerful drumming there’s real positivity in the lyrics with the happy-go-lucky chorus of “I’m staying out for the Summer…”

“If Looks Could kill” begins with more chugging chords and noodling aplenty. Vocal layering builds the tempo as once again I’m reminded of American Female Rock bands. Personal themes come to the fore and L7 comes to mind, but one could cite any number of influences. “Fun When You’re Winning” keeps the energy high. Lyrically I don’t feel it will win any awards, but it continues the feel-good factor. I do wonder though if it was written as a dig at any detractors of the band?

“Satellite” to all intents and purposes is the ballad that all good albums possess. It’s deeply personal and honest so you, the listener; make of it what you will? Whether written to a parent, partner or lover it hits the spot. It’s the classic mid-set break song or set closer, the chimes in the bridge are just beautiful. “And 1 More” completes this collection with a harder-edged feel with power hitting and scratchy chords to match. The noodly bridge is paired with fiercer drumming and layered vocals through to its finale.

Clearly, time spent in Lockdown wasn’t wasted for this young lady and her gang of assorted musicians. This album out on Criminal Records this week has already topped the UK Official Rock Charts – that feat alone is down to sheer hard graft and constant promotion. The Kut as a collective put in the hard yards, and this second LP offering shows the fruits of their labour. And while some commentators have used the Punk adjective to describe this album, I believe they have stuck with their roots to deliver yet another Girl/Grunge, Riot/Grrrl, Rock/Pop album.

Burn Your Bridges
Not Here For Love
On My Own
If Looks Could Kill
Fun When You’re Winning
And 1 More


Review by Ross A. Ferrone

The Kut