Cup is the project name of Tym Wojcik. The new album from Cup is called Hiccup and it’s about as good, abrasive and loud as you could need from a garage punk project. Wojcik is representing himself well with this twelve-track barrage of quasi power-chords. And like the title, Hiccup would suggest, there is something unpredictable, tick-ish and pleasingly caustic about the whole affair.
Distorted rhythm guitars and splash cymbals set the signature tone for the collection. Vocals are delivered into a microphone that sounds like it was placed somewhere inside Wojcik’s mouth. The noise of this thing is phenomenal. There’s a heady pleasure in filling a room with the vibrations, and the abject abundance of energy that lifts this frothy exuberance up to the ceiling. But wait, this isn’t just some outpouring of sonic filth – there is craft, and there are clever shapes in the tones that get built up and kicked around.
“Apparition” is about as close to radio-friendly as this album will ever sit. The accompanying claymation video from artist Sean McAnulty goes a long way in bringing the visceral feeling into physical form… giving the eyes something to punch. Who doesn’t love Claymation? Who doesn’t love punching clay? This track is perhaps the best representation of the kind of tension that gets released throughout the sequence.
Wojcik produces work that’s deceptively simple. There’s some talk about his sound, and people saying that there’s a contrast between the smooth and the sand that’s assembled in a track. Frankly, that’s a load of shit. Those people are missing the point. It doesn’t seem like Wojcik is concerned with making his listeners feel a compromise in their own emotions. What a trite, manipulative exercise that would be.
What he does is draw domestic, everyday situations, and he conjures magic – he shows the depth and the height of emotion that’s in all things at all times, and he does it with urgency. He’s not interested in fucking about. Yes this is loud, and yes, it’s sometimes hard work – but it’s unadulterated, sometimes technically limited passion – and it brings a level of surreal night-sweats into a subculture that Wojcik clearly loves. There is love here, in abundance.
Hiccup may be an album that speaks to a narrow audience, but it does so in such a way that it’s okay. They haven’t heard anything quite so good in a long time. It feels as if Wojcik, rightfully, has no interest in seeking validation from the general population. He has produced art that’s authentic, uncompromising, and so of course it’s not for everyone. If Cup ever started to play big venues – which is a terrifying prospect – something of the urgency would be lost, and validity would drop away. Wojcik is a guerrilla force – his strength is that he can move fast, and get beneath the radar. All that said… if you’re in the game for volume, and surreal vitriol that dismantles the senses, you need to get on this.
For Hiccup we award Cup 12 of 13 over-amped power chords.
HURRY – LISTEN – CUP
PHOTO BY ELLEN GRANGER