Wednesday 23 Apr

IndianGiver - Understudies

There’s a difference between being derivative and being inspired by something, a line a lot of artists can’t seem to find — or at least don’t care to.
04/22/2014 | Comments 0

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Three Michigan rockers keep...

Three Michigan rockers keep things simple, make strong case Cheap Girls make great dates

Chris Parker November 5th, 2009

Hope springs eternal, and, for similar reasons, there will always be new bands. Most acts obey the standard distribution curve, meaning they're less than inspired, or worse. This is to the a...

Hope springs eternal, and, for similar reasons, there will always be new bands.

Most acts obey the standard distribution curve, meaning they're less than inspired, or worse. This is to the advantage of bands like Michigan's Cheap Girls, who, despite a relatively fresh minting, are well-worth watching. The Girls' second disc, last month's "My Roaring 20's," is as fine a slab of music as you're likely to find from a band you've haven't heard or read about on Pitchfork.

The group's second release, the 10-track album shakes with raging distortion and tuneful playing steeped in melancholy discontent like it were forged two decades ago. The trio's chunky, hummable blasts recall pre-grunge, alt-rock acts such as Buffalo Tom and Superchunk.

Singer/bassist Ian Graham and his brother Ben have been playing in bands together for years, ever since receiving a guitar and drums (respectively) as children. Ian and guitarist Adam Aymor decided to start a band together and brought Ben along, and the rest is history.

"It's very simple," Ian Graham said. "I wish I had a better answer."

Simple is guiding idea behind the music. They just want to rock.

"From the start, it's always been that we write simple songs on acoustic guitar," Graham said. "We wanted to be loud and we wanted to be a simple rock band."

The straightforward sound is buoyed by a thick curtain of distortion and a bed of razor-wire hooks. None of the new songs clock beyond three minutes, and the entire album's finished in under a half hour, although it reverberates a lot longer.

At the center is Graham's befuddled ache, which is more existential crisis than heartbroken longing. It's the kind of heartfelt, vaguely pissed, beneath-the-wounded-veneer kind of music that the '80s and early-'90s underground excelled at, until Kurt Cobain took it mainstream.

"My Roaring 20's" is highlighted by a pair of terrific tracks, "Ft. Lauderdale" and "My Clean Friends"  " the latter an infectiously scored paean to making it through.

"Ft. Lauderdale" is just as powerful. It rides a rocking, chiming guitar roar, sketching a waitress in the titular town who fashions herself an artist amid worries that her dreams dwarf her talent, and a similarly minded valet who longs to act. It's a poignant ode to how our desires can make us feel inadequate and fill us with doubt.

Graham playfully chafed at the suggestion his talent may trail his dreams, but quickly confessed to his battles with doubt.

"I sort of catch myself doing that too much. There's definitely some of that for sure," he said with a laugh. "I wrote a shit-ton of songs, so I feel a lot of them must be terrible."

Cheap Girls with Failures' Union perform at 10 p.m. Tuesday at Hi-Lo Club, 1221 N.W. 50th. "Chris Parker

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