Though this particular writer has never seen them, one gets the impression that Cuss are, first and foremost, a live band. Big as they are here, the highly kinetic qualities of Merrill and the pummeling rhythm section are almost surely more effective in person. And despite its many merits, High Gravity is a tough listen, especially all the way through. Even the hardiest, most masochistic listeners could bristle at the eight-and-a-half-minute litmus test of the miserable confessional "Life Problem."

Look again at the men in most rock groups. By and large, they are cads, fops, brosteaks, meatheads, precious sensitivos, trustfunded lotharios, fantasy lumberjacks, and drunks. For better or worse, Cuss are none of these. Their band is something special, and if you choose to interpret that claim not strictly as a superlative, we might probably all agree. Men are pigs, but sometimes they can kick up some beautiful shit.

HIGH GRAVITY | released by Cuss | cussptldmaine.bandcamp.com

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