I’m going to start off this review by telling you that this album was produced by Tom Gabel of Against Me! and to explain that this is a positively good thing. The album definitely feels influenced by Against Me! in terms of song writing, but the production also feels like an Against Me! record which seems likely now that you already know who produced it.
Anyway, with that brought up and served up it’s time to tell you that Cheap Girls has served up ’Giant Orange’ as a fantastic dessert and the taste will satisfy your tantalized tastebuds only for so long after your first listen as you’ll be wanting more. And why is that, you may be asking? Hooks. Lyrical and melodic hooks. Guys, this is a catchy album (and the word ‘hook’ and ‘catch’ suddenly make sense to me. As if I’ve only just realised about that, jeez) and I really can’t get enough of it.
The songs are simple but I always say to people that some of the best songs are simple. Yeah, I love my technical stuff, but punk doesn’t need many chords to blast out a song of meaning, melody and even feel good vibes oh so simplistically and effortlessly. It’s 90’s nostalgia all over again.
Ok, so it’s not just punk. There’s definitely a punk element, but the genres alternative rock, country and even folk casually wander into mind and happily sit there. Country may seem to put some people off, but let that word sit in your mind whilst you’re listening and it’ll all make sense. Like I said, it’ll happily sit there. You won’t dismiss as you think ‘maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. Who cares, this is good’ and you’ll bop away singing “Ruby don’t, goooooooo” and pretty much every other hook.
The delicate moment is offeredto life in the form of ‘Cored To Empty,’ where the acoustic guitar is brought to the table and delivers a slice and beauty wrapped up in melody and lyrics and that distinct voice of Ian Graham. It did baffle me at first as usually vocalists sing higher than Ian does, but now I find it quite erm… quite swooning actually. I mean, there is certainly a charm about it and I can imagine Ian in a suit, serving up all these food related metaphors on a giant silver platter singing “I’m not much better now” from said song in question.
I really do wish there was more to this album. I want this as my starter, mains and dessert all in one round, but that’s not going to happen. More than 10 songs would be great, but these 10 songs are real sweet and certainly more than satisfy for now.
‘Giant Orange’ by Cheap Girls is available now on Rise Records.
Words by Michael Brown.