Happy Monday, everyone! I know a lot of people don’t like Mondays but I, for one, love them. I always feel motivated and it’s as if the week hasn’t gotten me down yet so I’m optimistic and ready to take on the world. That’s exactly how I’m feeling right now but I just need a little soundtrack to get the blood pumping and to help get this coffee to kick in. Will Cheap City’s quick ‘Tanked For Jupiter’ EP do the trick? Let’s take a listen and find out!
This five-song release kicks off with “The Coffee Shop Cafe (And Laundromat)” which instantly lays out the interesting sound and vibe that is Cheap City. I’ll be honest, I was a bit shocked as the whimsical sound that kicks this album off quickly shifted with the addition of almost spoken word styled vocals but I am here for it. There are so many interesting layers to this opening track. A little hip-hop, a little jazz, and a whole lot of energy and personality, although this was unlike anything I had ever heard before, I was loving it and eating up every single interesting beat. I love the horns in this opening track and hope that’s an element that will reign supreme through the other four tracks.
“Cheap City City Limits” continues to lay out the super intriguing sound that is Cheap City. This track instantly became a favorite of mine. There’s something just a little bit more abstract about the overall composition of the song yet it’s easy to follow and fall for. Although the lyrics felt a bit aggressive to me in the first track, I understood how they fit in the music by the time “Cheap City City Limits” had hit the halfway mark and I loved it so much. They are a bit aggressive and a bit abrasive giving you an undeniable sense of passion with every word. I love the way that they are enhanced by all of the horns and the powerful bassline that can be heard throughout this track.
Things take a shift as “Tanked For Jupiter” starts playing. There’s almost a ska vibe to this track that is absolutely infectious and addicting. Again, the prominent bassline drives this track forward while the vocals bring an undeniable sense of energy and edge to the track. Another instant favorite of mine, I found myself completely lost in all of the layers of this track. Although there’s a lot going on, Cheap City somehow makes it so easy to hear and focus on every single one of the layers. It’s really a genius thing that they have done. This track is busy and constantly moving but it never bridges into the world of chaos or insanity. The amount of control this group has on their sound and style is impressive to say the least.
The beat slows ever so slightly for “Sweetness Falls” nd the focus shifts to the vocals throughout this track. You know me, I won’t give away the words but I love how they come through clear and concise while still keeping that undeniable sense of aggression and passion that is clearly a signature vibe of Cheap City. The prominence of a keyboard part brings an almost psychedelic sound to the table that I hadn’t heard in the previous track but, again, was here for. I feel like this new element just continues to show how gosh dang versatile this band is. I was so lost in it all that I almost missed as the album moved onto “Static In The Sky”.
Unfortunately, “Static In The Sky” is the final track on this all-too-quick album but the band doesn’t hold back for this final song at all. Continuing to give you a sound that is so distinctly that of Cheap City while still bringing new elements to the table, this track has a more DIY vibe to it in a weird way. The vocals are just a bit deeper and less hip-hop influenced. They almost have a theatrical tone to them that I instantly fell head over heels for. Although the longest track on the album at around four and a half minutes long, the multiple movements in this track and the driving bassline have this song moving fast and, before I knew it, I was left in the silence of my house.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t know what to expect from this little release as I had never heard of Cheap City but their sound is so interesting and every track seemed to be better than the last. Every song had a distinct vibe and sound that differed from the rest while all being clearly that of Cheap City. What I’m trying to say is Cheap City may be my new favorite band so you should definitely check this out and show them some love!
My Favorite Track(s): “Cheap City City Limits”; “Tanked For Jupiter”
For Fans Of: Layers Upon Layers; A Sound Unlike Anything You’ve Ever Heard Before; Creativity
Mosh-ability: 7 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie laid on the back of the couch; Autumn slept upstairs
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 8 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 9.5 out of 10
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