The Cuts are an Oakland, Calif. based quintet who play '70s-inspired rock 'n' roll that upon first listen, seems to sit in the middle of a musical tug-of-war. One side of the band belongs to singer/guitar player Andy Jordan, whose songs are steeped in the boozy waters of pre-punk angularity, replete with a herky-jerky singing style that immediately comes off as a dead ringer for Blank Generation - era Richard Hell. The other side showcases singer/keyboard player Dan Aa's complex romance with post-Left Banke outfits Montage and Stories (although his influences seem to cull more from the former). But what sets the Cuts apart from the vast sea of hip, retro rock bands is their honest love for old school rock 'n' roll and an undeniable chemistry that allows those disparate visions to seamlessly weave together and come off sounding like one band. This becomes more apparent after repeated listens which, when you think about it, is the stuff of what really good bands are made of. Where many of their haircut-and-trouser clad contemporaries release recordings with the shelf life of a banana, the Cuts have created a devoted and loyal base of hardcore fans who seem to appreciate the staying power of their classic sense of songwriting. Another good sign of a band's worth is their ability to surpass Andy Warhol's 15 minute fame paradigm. And the Cuts do this admirably, as well as being part of a strong musical family tree that bears fertile branches. That said, be sure to check out related bands the Time Flys (with Jordan on guitar) and the forthcoming Apache (with the Cuts' Carlos Palacios on bass), which could easily be the Bay Area's best power trio to date.