Just back from a mini-tour that included a stop at the Midpoint Music Festival in Cincinnati, Fort Worth's the Cut*off is back in the studio, recording the follow-up to their excellent Rorschach EP. The new recording sessions, helmed by (who else) Salim Nourallah, should offer more of the amiable grunge/alt-rock in which these four Cowtowners specialize. Featuring the burly (and sometimes surly) roar of singer Kyle Barnhill, the Cut*off are one of the few local acts who have developed a legitimate sound of their own. "Adults I Know" and "The Basement Theory" are prickly garage rockers, charismatic numbers that serve as a unique combination of Mudhoney and Slobberbone. Guitarist Jayson Hamilton adds some needed hooks to the punkish din as bassist Jason Soles somehow keeps the whole mess from collapsing on itself. By mining elements of classic '60s psychedelia (especially Sky Saxon and the Seeds) and fusing them with the slacker mentality of Frank Black, the Cut*off is poised for the kind of recognition that usually spells trouble for bands making a living down in Deep Ellum. Let's hope they continue to defy both the odds and easy categorization.