Jan 31, 2013

CHEATER SLICKS "Reality Is A Grape" LP

     When first started telling pals and associates that there was a new Cheater Slicks album coming out a lot of them shrugged and wondered what the hell I was even talking about. Others said "Fuck Yeah" or "It's about time."
     I will leave the shruggers be. If they don't know/don't care about the Cheater Slicks it's their loss. I  am not going to go out of my way to explain the ugly awesomeness of  the band to them. This album was super-rare the day it came out due to the LP pressing run being only 500. It was luck that I was able to get an ACTUAL copy of in my hands because they went fast. The shruggers don't deserve such things.
     With "It's about time" folks it's like "C'mon, man. Are you for real?"
     Sure, it has been a few years (2007) since the band release a full NEW album of "proper songs" (Not to discount 2009's Bats In The Trees in any way as it was quite the ear drum basher but it seemed to be more of a concept album of freeform freakout jams) but it's not like the Slicks are spring chickens or anything.
     Most bands in the frame of age would have packed it in (and one of them would probably put together a blooze or classic rock cover band that plays in bars on the weekends to help pay child support of some shit.) Making their own kind of gnarled, sick Rock-n-Roll noise is in the Cheater Slicks blood but they aren't going to simply crank out a record every year just to make the market happy and they ain't gonna pack in the van for 6 weeks to just sleep on peoples floors at the end of the night. For fans of the bands the record every few years and the slight chance of them playing close by is a rare, cherished even. Basically, as you get older and have learned anything useful-Quality over quantity reigns anyway.
     One thing that has always stood out about the Cheater Slicks sound is for being a very treble friendly band (two guitars, drums and no bass player) is how, as a trio, the mud thick feeling and absolutely disturbed vibe they give off.
     Sounding like something off Iggy & the Stooges Raw Power encased in ice and being chipped away at by an undertaker with a hatchet in his hand the albums title track kicks off manners with an obvious chilling effect. Shards fly stabbing the eardrums while a frigid blast dries, cracks and peels the skin.
     In the hands of a lot of bands the two or three chords would sound like can rock out and all that but in the world of the Cheater Slicks those same chords sound like the guitars are fighting for their lives under stranglehold grips.
     When it comes to cheating songs they are usually some kind of cry in your beer kind of thing. In the case of "Love Ordeal" it sounds more like rage swinging sledgehammers at gnarled guitar strings that some woe tale. "
     Hold On To Your Soul" gives good advice ("If you never want to grow old") but there is something way sinister sounding bubbling to the top.
     If you've ever wondered what Hawkwind would have sounded like if Lemmy was never kicked out of the band but he in turned kicked all the hippies out of the group and then buried the amps in a landfill for a month before making a return for the studio "Half Past High" may very well be the answer.
     Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but looking past the ragged blaring of the noise that surrounds "Current Reflection" there is something quite pretty laying beneath.
     Most bands don't last into a third decade of making music. Most of those that do usually end up giving diminishing returns, sound like they are phoning it in with hopes of getting another paycheck or embarrass themselves trying to stay modern losing touch with what made them so great in the first place. The Cheater Slicks are one of those rare bands that not only still GOT IT but are making even better records than they did in the past while staying loyal to what people dug about them in the first place.
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