"Wallpaper Music" (In the Red Records; 2012)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Cheap Time are Tennessee garage rock. When is the last time you heard some really good garage rock? The punks down the street? Maybe it was your own attempt at a youthful remembrance. Either way, these guys are influenced by punk rock, power pop melodies and glam rock riffs. It's simple, to the point and quick. The production is somewhat muddy, the vocals are snotty and with tracks like "More Cigarettes" and "Straight and Narrow" you can tell the crux of this band is to plug in, and just play.

You can't fault them for their simplistic approach to music; in fact, we should be applauding them because itís the guts that make rock'n'roll what it is. Too much flash and you get blinded to what is really going on. The guitar gets gritty on a few songs and it helps to keep their punk element forefront. The vocals are airy in some parts but that just gives the other instruments a chance to shine. The bass thumps along and keeps everybody in time. The drums keep the beat but they don't always stop the song with a definite end. There is a lot of artistic juices flowing on "Wallpaper Music." 

The disc seems to move from punk to garage rock and back around to glam riffs with a pop punk attitude ever present. There are just ten tracks to this disc and each one has a cool vibe to it. Some almost sound like jam sessions where they decided to add some lyrics just to give the song a title. You can hear some keys on a few songs, some harmonica and plenty of percussion, you might even hear a slide come in. It's all anybody's guess but it's worth the listen to find out.

Cheap Time: Jeffrey Novak: guitar, vocals; Stephen Braren: bass, vocals, keys; Ryan Sweeney: drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2012 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09 Dec 2018 12:03:12 -0500.