Monday, March 11, 2013

Review: Cheyenne - Secrets Of The Cheyenne

Alright, boys and girls, time for a switch-up. Cheyenne is a Cap'n Jazz/Promise Ring style Emo band from Richmond, VA, and I had the pleasure of meeting two of their members at a local show recently. After noticing the artwork (which originally reminded me of This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb), I decided to pick up a copy on vinyl. That was the best decision I made that night (besides making vegan pigs in a blanket). So, boys and girls, I'm going to give you a run-down of this killer album, and you're going to read it. 

This rap is like ziti:

"Intro" - This is what sold me on the album. Classic, 90s, second-wave emo, with just enough twinkle to shed a tear, but not enough "Owen" to weep. Perfectly timed, flawlessly mixed drums, and a stellar combination of rhythm and lead guitars bring this track to a beautiful climax that twinkles out like burning stars, leading into this killer album. 

"Fireboobs" - Let's talk about the title of this track. Normally, I would say that naming a song "Fireboobs" is gimmicky as hell. Fortunately for me (and for you, of course), no gimmick is necessary for Cheyenne, as they kick enough ass without it. Pulling from their influences, they manage to convey a deeply personal song in perfect monotone, much like The Promise Ring or Jets To Brazil. This is a nice break from the trend, as most Emo bands, as of late, have been striving to pour more and more of themselves into vocals, when we all know that it's really, really not what we want. 

"Boy Problems" - The drums on this track speak for themselves, the crisp snare and cymbal hits complementing the clear, twinkle of the lead guitar and the fuzz of the rhythm. I could talk about this song all day, but instead I'll just leave you with this: "Get out of my bed and leave my head alone."

"High Five" - A token fun song, like TPR's "Pink Chimneys," this short, slow track starts out with the general "you'll see high fives all around," but ends on the uncannily hopeful line, "we tread our feet through water and we never got caught." This, of course, is after a twinkly, fuzzy break, overlaid by a long-outdated sound clip. This track is more a period piece than it is anything new or forward, but it's exactly what you want.

"Third Floor" - This track threw me for a loop. Adding the diversity of Take It Back!-style vocals, this song dances and twinkles its way through, covering the fact that the lyrics are abnormally dark. Exploring more personal matters, this song asks the question, "What's the point?" and makes a heavy claim of monotony in the workplace. Interesting commentary--not expected, but by no means unwelcome.

"Any Other Way" - A scaling and soaring lead runs through this song like a hot knife, cutting the dense bass, and ending at the perfectly punctuating snare. I cannot explain how well this is mixed. These drum sounds... Sweet Christ. The lyrics on this track are insightful, without being oppressive, and hopeful without being lame. Just a solid, solid song. 

"Indecision" - A darker song on the album, with guitars ceaselessly launching back and forth into dueling leads. Some of the better musicianship on the album, in my opinion, and only 1:54. Incredible. "I put myself through hell and true bliss came to you." 

"Call It In The Air" - Ah... Both vocal styles on this song. Awesome. The rawness of yelling, and the beauty of the lead vocals, this is a nice little 1:40 track, mainly made by its arpeggiated lead twinkles. Twinkles, twinkles, twinkles. 

"Golden Palms" - Incorporating tapping on the rhythm guitar, this final track (besides the outro) is the last effort to pull everything together from these Richmond boys. Insanely catchy, but never settling for mediocrity, this is absolutely the greatest musicianship on the album. Every element they've tried on the other tracks is perfect here. This is the first moving Emo song I've heard from a current band in years. 

"Outro" - Following the lead of the Intro, this song is a bit catchier, with swinging drums and bass, and free form guitar interjecting notes here and there as they please. Twinkles, twinkles, twinkles. I mean this in the highest respect to Cheyenne, and I never use this adjective, but this song is truly... lovely. It just makes me smile. So lovely. 

Do yourself a favor, and pick this album up. These boys deserve any and all money you choose to give to them. Go like them on facebook, stream their album, and worship them as the demigods they are.