Release Date: Feb 21, 2012
Record label: Rise Records
Just as an initial caveat, this review of a pop-punk album is not going to please fans of pop-punk. One can get on board with some classic Smoking Popes, the occasional Hold Steady, and a healthy dosage of the Replacements. Yet, when an album comes along that aims to imitate these three bands without a fresh take on that style, a number of issues arise.
What sets Lansing, MI's Cheap Girls apart as a band is their ability to channel 1994. The power pop/rock trio fuse their sound with homages to catchy, melodically charged '90s rock in their Rise debut, and third full-length release, Giant Orange. Influenced by the likes of the Lemonheads, Superchunk and the Replacements, Cheap Girls continue in the vein of the energetic style they've had for years.
Get ready for one more round of Midwestern scruff-rock by beer light. Taking cues from the Replacements, Guided By Voices, and Sugar, Cheap Girls cover familiar insouciance without getting lost in the past. The Lansing, Mich., trio's third album seethes with warm tube amp crunch, but hints of transistor pop aspiration abound, with the overall mood of Giant Orange vacillating between wistful and resolute.