cues show off their slice of life brand of math rock on “butttxt”
When we last heard from the new Singaporean band cues back in February, the newly formed math rock quartet was doing quite well for themselves despite only releasing one single. “Atlas,” their brightly colored debut, marked the beginning of a promising career for the band, placing them in a similar territory as fellow Singaporean math rock artists susurrus. But while susurrus is a band that steeps their flavor of math rock with angst and screamo, cues is one that is defined by pastel winks and sheen. Recently, they’ve returned with “butttxt,” a shining example of the band’s self-proclaimed “slice of life” math rock.
Just like before, “butttxt” finds the band working as a well-oiled, cohesive unit–showing off their tightly woven knack for interlocking guitar harmonies. Jaunty, plucky, and overall filled with life, “butttxt” is spirited montage music for your everyday life. Without uttering a single word (yes, even the “ah-oohs” that accented “atlas” are missing”), cues’s new single says everything it needs to say with its melodic connotations. But to those who want a more clean-cut narrative, cues offers a possible explanation. “‘butttxt’ is about Tanaka-San the Salaryman and his rushed journey to Baybeats… with his phone unlocked in his back pocket,” goes their press release. And as for the playful name? In an interview with Singaporean music website Life in Arpeggio, it was “inspired by math-rock band names that look like they were butt-texted,” like “Hong Kong band, tfvsjs and Japanese band, haisuinonasa.”
Whatever the strange context of “butttxt” really is, there’s plenty to enjoy in cues’s new single–silly name or not.