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  -  Cheap Girls - Giant Orange (http://www.absolutepunk.net/showthread.php?t=2649642)

Thomas Nassiff 02/29/12 09:28 AM

Cheap Girls - Giant Orange
 
Cheap Girls - Giant Orange
Release Date: February 21, 2012
Record Label: Rise Records


Cheap Girls is, to no disappointing extent, a band that one should listen to when they are in the mood to listen to the type of music Cheap Girls plays. Now, don’t get all up in arms telling me how obvious of a statement that is. The point I’m making is that Cheap Girls does not play the type of music that I would like to listen to all day, every day. Even when they release a solid new record like Giant Orange, the ‘90s alt-rock can’t stick around for too long.

That lends itself nicely to a good point about Giant Orange: it’s a proper length. Standing at a stout 10 tracks and 35 minutes, it’s more or less the correct dose of Cheap Girls that one needs. And as the band has done on prior full-lengths Find Me A Drink Home and My Roaring ‘20s, they start the action with one of the best songs on the album. “Gone All Summer” is nothing short of your typical guitar-led college radio rock that Cheap Girls has perfected over the course of its career-so-far. It's probably one of the more straightforward, aggressive songs in the Cheap Girls catalog, too. First single “Ruby” embodies that identity to an even greater extent, and if it were 1998, Ian Graham’s incredibly consistent croon would be gracing local airwaves constantly.

One characteristic of Giant Orange that is largely a departure from previous Cheap Girls albums is the production. On their first release for Rise Records, the band chose to work with Tom (actually, I think they’re calling him “Tommy” now) Gabel from Against Me! Gabel is a good producer – the album sounds just fine, but the muddy production that provided the glue around the loose edges of My Roaring ‘20s is gone completely. That muddy-sounding production was, for old fans, a truly defining piece of Cheap Girls’ sound, so as weird as it is to say, the clear production doesn’t necessarily help Giant Orange’s cause.

That production does come in handy at times, though, like on the acoustic “Cored To Empty” and the loopy “Mercy-Go-‘Round.” The new sound helps Adam Aymor’s guitar noodling come through without much friction, and Ben Graham’s drums, as always, are rock solid. At its core, Giant Orange is probably Cheap Girls’ best batch of songs. You don’t need to look past the closing punch of “On/Off Switches” and “Pacer” to realize that these guys can still write a damn good pop-oriented, alt-rock laden tune. Giant Orange could very well be Cheap Girls’ best record.

Being displayed to a larger audience on Rise, the new production will help as first-time listeners find it easier to lend their ears to a style of music that isn’t exactly common these days. For older fans, like me personally, the new production styles don’t particularly lend themselves to the band’s original sound, making it more likely for me to revisit Find Me A Drink Home than Giant Orange. That being said, the best songs from this album are all but unforgettable, and there are a handful of tracks that will certainly survive the test of time.

7/10 - Good

System.

Recommended If You LikeLemuria, Tigers Jaw, stuff like that, college rock from a couple decades ago.
What You Need To ClickListen to the album on their AP.net Profile
Buy the album

Thomas Nassiff 02/29/12 09:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Star Slight (Post 103898572)
disagree with most of the review

To me, the production is an on/off switch - no pun intended. If you like it, you like the record. I like the muddy production from the last two records more...listening to this one too many times in a row is undoable for me.

Cody Nelson 02/29/12 09:51 AM

Why did this get two reviews?

cshadows2887 02/29/12 09:54 AM

I was really confused by describing Aymor's guitarwork as "noodling." He does a very small amount of active lead playing. Let alone enough to be considered noodling.

Thomas Nassiff 02/29/12 09:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Star Slight (Post 103899442)
Yeah I guess it just has to do with our fundamental feelings about the band. Not saying that I don't like the review, I just don't have the same feelings that you do

I get you.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Indoor Living (Post 103899432)
Why did this get two reviews?

Staffs and contributors might review the same thing sometimes when there's confusion, I was signed up for this review months in advance and had no knowledge Chris was doing his until it went up. It's a new system so it's going to get some speed bumps but it'll get smoothed out.

Holly HoX! 02/29/12 09:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Indoor Living (Post 103899432)
Why did this get two reviews?


Contributing writers aren't considered "staff," so "actual" staff can review the same albums, essentially.

brandon_260 02/29/12 09:59 AM

I feel like I dug this album a lot more. I'm still not into it as much as Roaring 20s, but I still really enjoy it.

Jake Jenkins 02/29/12 11:31 AM

really painful first paragraph. really painful.

cshadows2887 02/29/12 11:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thomas Nassiff (Post 103899682)
I get you.

Staffs and contributors might review the same thing sometimes when there's confusion, I was signed up for this review months in advance and had no knowledge Chris was doing his until it went up. It's a new system so it's going to get some speed bumps but it'll get smoothed out.

Same here. Eda got me this a loooong time ago and I had zero idea you were doing it as well. Oh well. I don't think anyone ever suffered from being presented multiple viewpoints on a piece of art.

cubsml34 02/29/12 11:41 AM

Really enjoyed this album, but this is the first release I've listened to by this band.

Thomas Nassiff 02/29/12 01:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cshadows2887 (Post 103907512)
Same here. Eda got me this a loooong time ago and I had zero idea you were doing it as well. Oh well. I don't think anyone ever suffered from being presented multiple viewpoints on a piece of art.

Yeah, I sent her an email about checking the staff thread about stuff people are reviewing haha. It's no biggie at all in my mind

Lueda Alia 02/29/12 04:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thomas Nassiff (Post 103915112)
Yeah, I sent her an email about checking the staff thread about stuff people are reviewing haha. It's no biggie at all in my mind

I always checked the staff thread before Jason told us that staff and contributors could review the same albums, so I didn't need to be reminded of anything.

Thomas Nassiff 02/29/12 04:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SimplyPaige (Post 103922792)
After this opening, I will never take another review of yours seriously again.

"Now, don’t get all up in arms telling me how obvious of a statement that is."

Thomas Nassiff 02/29/12 04:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lueda Alia (Post 103927932)
I always checked the staff thread before Jason told us that staff and contributors could review the same albums, so I didn't need to be reminded of anything.

Like I said, it's not a big deal. Just seemed to be a lack of communication a little bit. Not a big deal.

Lueda Alia 02/29/12 04:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thomas Nassiff (Post 103929542)
Like I said, it's not a big deal. Just seemed to be a lack of communication a little bit. Not a big deal.

There wasn't a lack of communication though, as I said. At least not on my part.

Jaytothesyg 02/29/12 05:24 PM

I really like this album. It's my favorite release from them for sure. The songs are just such jams, The production doesn't really turn me away from it. I think Tom did it a great job!

Although it doesn't match up to how good some of the releases came out that day it's still great

Seeing them at The Sidekicks album release show tomorrow and very excited.

PermanentTourists 02/29/12 05:36 PM

Album is pretty boring but it has some good tracks.

AP_Punk 02/29/12 07:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SimplyPaige (Post 103922792)
After this opening, I will never take another review of yours seriously again.

highfive

Chris Fallon 02/29/12 07:46 PM

Their first album never really made an impression on me, however I really enjoy the simple nature of this release. Old-school feel to an easy, free-spirited rock n' roll sound.

prefix-core 02/29/12 09:09 PM

For older people: Smoking Popes, Lemonheads, Replacements

prefix-core 02/29/12 09:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris Fallon (Post 103943232)
Their first album never really made an impression on me, however I really enjoy the simple nature of this release. Old-school feel to an easy, free-spirited rock n' roll sound.


Did you ever check out My Roaring 20s?

cshadows2887 02/29/12 09:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by prefix-core (Post 103950322)
For older people: Smoking Popes, Lemonheads, Replacements

Mentioned all 3 of those in my review. Guess I'm old. Haha.

prefix-core 02/29/12 09:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cshadows2887 (Post 103952952)
Mentioned all 3 of those in my review. Guess I'm old. Haha.


Looks like I need to read that review, haha. To be honest, I never would have picked up on the Smoking Popes comparison if it wasn't referenced on the sticker on the CD...But it makes perfect sense in every which way.

Also? I don't know how old you are, but if you are a Jonah Matranga fan...Just sayin'. ;-) Bet I'm just as old, if not older. Or at least, y'know, close to it.

cshadows2887 02/29/12 10:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by prefix-core (Post 103953492)
Looks like I need to read that review, haha. To be honest, I never would have picked up on the Smoking Popes comparison if it wasn't referenced on the sticker on the CD...But it makes perfect sense in every which way.

Also? I don't know how old you are, but if you are a Jonah Matranga fan...Just sayin'. ;-) Bet I'm just as old, if not older. Or at least, y'know, close to it.

It's a little further down on ap's review page now.

Haha. Zing! I'd defend myself saying I didn't get into him until There's a Lot in Here, but I only checked it out because I loved a Far song used in Buffy, so yeah...I'm old.

Chris Fallon 03/01/12 12:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by prefix-core (Post 103950372)
Did you ever check out My Roaring 20s?

Yeah - was that not their first album? That's the one I never connected with as much as I wanted to. I dunno... you're pretty good about convincing me to listen to stuff -- why should I give that one another shot?

Chris Fallon 03/01/12 12:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cshadows2887 (Post 103956442)
It's a little further down on ap's review page now.

Haha. Zing! I'd defend myself saying I didn't get into him until There's a Lot in Here, but I only checked it out because I loved a Far song used in Buffy, so yeah...I'm old.

For what it's worth, loved your review. Shoulda left a comment in there, but wanted to let you know it was terrific :-)

cshadows2887 03/01/12 12:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris Fallon (Post 103963532)
For what it's worth, loved your review. Shoulda left a comment in there, but wanted to let you know it was terrific :-)

Thanks, dude. Means a lot, since I always loved yours.

Thomas Nassiff 03/01/12 08:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris Fallon (Post 103963512)
Yeah - was that not their first album? That's the one I never connected with as much as I wanted to. I dunno... you're pretty good about convincing me to listen to stuff -- why should I give that one another shot?

I think it's holistically their best, Find Me A Drink Home has good songs too. I just can't get behind this new one with a good frequency...I usually get lost halfway through.

AP_Punk 03/01/12 09:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SimplyPaige (Post 103966922)
Nah. I feel like mediocre openers like this are becoming more and more constant in your reviews.

<33 I miss you aha

samesies!

Chris Fallon 03/01/12 11:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cshadows2887 (Post 103963682)
Thanks, dude. Means a lot, since I always loved yours.

Thanks man - appreciate that!

Chris Fallon 03/01/12 11:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thomas Nassiff (Post 103973182)
I think it's holistically their best, Find Me A Drink Home has good songs too. I just can't get behind this new one with a good frequency...I usually get lost halfway through.

Maybe we should both give each record more time. I like the whole Lemonheads/Smoking Popes vibe on this album. It's short and simple -- suppose I've missed that with some of the alt-punk bands out nowadays (not that I listen to many that sound like this). The first album was always a little more lackadaisical to me, without much emotion to reel me in. But hey, I'm seeing them at the end of the month with Menzingers, so maybe I can afford to give the album another shot.

Rodeo 03/03/12 01:28 PM

If you've never heard of this band before, this review is pretty pointless since it all seems to hinge on the production of the band's previous albums. I like a lot of your reviews on here, as you know, but this one can be filed under "Miss," in my own opinion.

AustinHoag 03/05/12 10:28 AM

There's something about this band that kind of bothers me... It's not bad. But definitely not a favorite for me.

AlternateToLife 03/06/12 10:30 AM

I'm a big fan of this album. HOWEVER I also had an issue with the production. I do miss the muddiness but mostly I was just annoyed at how drowned out the vocals were. That technique worked when the whole album was noisy but it sounds very weird with the clean sound.

Agree that the acoustic songs sound better though.