Formed by vocalist/guitarist Ralph Torrefranca and drummer Joe Liptock in 2018 and joined by vocalist/guitarist Christina Apostolopoulos in 2022, they share a love of stirring rock music, from the urgent tension of the U.K. post-punk revival to the tender, ornate compositions of Death Cab for Cutie (a special influence, given Torrefranca and Liptock were in the same DCFC cover band, and Torrefranca and Apostolopoulos were at the same DCFC show in 2008, long before they met).
Cuffed Up have a knack for distilling big dreams into sound. Their debut album All You Got is filled with dreams of bigger stages, a more open heart and a more equitable society—in short, dreams that are swiftly dismissed as naive. For this Los Angeles three-piece, “anthemic” is not just an apt descriptor of their sound, it’s an ethos. In every swelling chorus, ardent guitar riff and rich cascade of cymbals is a seed of hope that things will take a turn for the better. After all, this band has been to hell and back, whether it’s multiple lineup changes, industry roadblocks or a global pandemic, and they’re used to being written off as starry-eyed.
Cuffed Up has garnered much support from KEXP, Audiotree, BBC Radio 1 + 6, Radio X and subsequently from the likes of Paste Magazine, NME, Flood, Spin and The Line Of Best Fit. They’ve toured with bands like Silversun Pickups and The Joy Formidable.
The band has appeared at SXSW and have tour/supported bands like Silversun Pickups, The Joy Formidable, Taking Back Sunday, Wavves, Bass Drum of Death, Pussy Riot, Just Mustard, Militaire Gun and Liv Slingerland.
Cuffed Up is Ralph Torrefranca, Christina Apostolopoulos and Joe Liptock.
Paste - “Their music is heavy and melodic, landing in leagues with Bully and SPRINTS and beyond”.
SPIN - "Gut-punching, guitar-pounding, off-kilter post-punk"
Under The Radar - "The band tears through at a relentless pace. Scuzzy guitar lines add a distorted bite while a towering rhythm section anchors their whirling chaos"
Beats Per Minute - "The track is catchy and riotous at once, finding time for slicing riffs and pounding drums betwixt Jewell’s commanding presence. The band lands in a sweet, balanced spot between punk and alternative, splitting the difference between the likes of Sonic Youth and Placebo."
Buzzbands - “Sometimes you wanna dispense with formality and just say, "This song is f*cking great." Now is one of those times. This new single from L.A.'s Cuffed Up is f*cking great."
Line of Best Fit - “French Exit” sets the table for the kind of confessional punk that Cuffed Up brings in spades
Bandcamp - "A pair of revved-up songs from LA group Cuffed Up with the snarl of punk and the noisiness of vintage Sonic Youth."
NME - "With its driving rhythm section, expansive guitar riffs and soaring vocals, the new one from Los Angeles band Cuffed Up is a hulking slice."
When The Horn Blows - "It’s a raw and punchy number that nods to all the big UK ‘punk’ bands taking the world by storm…Cuffed Up’s sound alternates between ‘happy jangly indie’ to ‘pissed off punk rock’. It’s intelligent, draws you in and keeps you wanting more."
KEXP - You'd be forgiven for assuming Cuffed Up were from the UK — the Los Angeles-based quartet draw influence from the punk scene across the sea.
We Found New Music - “Small Town Kid” is like Sonic Youth on Adderall...The sound of it is more anchored in a CBGB’s era East Coast punk with Jewell’s vocals sounding like a grittier, less polished early Debbie Harry."