In The Red Records 2008
Aren't the pretty? Compare them to Jay Reatard's band (past/ present) they are matinee idols by comparison. If you like Reatard's brand of punk gone new wave then you will be more than pleased with fellow Memphis wunderkind Jeff Novak's Cheap Time. With two 7 inches to their credit this full length came out in 2008 and was recorded in 2007. Where Reatard pulls heavily from Head on the Door-era cure, Novak tones down the arena rock of Cheap Trick for a less polished sped up power pop.
"People Talk" robotically pounds you with the chorus that sounds eerily like Robin Zander, but that is the most obvious compairson you could make to the Power Pop icons. Most of the music might be subtle as a hammer, but for the most part Cheap Time seem to be purposely cramming into short bursts that are very good song. On paper "Trip to the Zoo" seems like an opus at 3:03, but ,much of the first two minutes is loaded with a long windy intro that ends with just enough song that makes you a little sad it's over. "Tight Fit" qualifies for the "punkest" song on the album. The big beat that backs the chorus gets your headed banging in sync with your toes tappin. "Falling Down" has some big Townsend style guitar sounds and "Over Again" is a sing along waiting to be discovered ten years from now.
At the end of the day Cheap Time is better than average Garage Punk that delivers. Sure Novak isn't reinventing a genre and borrowing heavily from the Memphis punk sounds that shaped him. He makes sure that it is vital and lack redundancy.
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