hello folks! this week we’re taking a look at the newest release from America’s Local Band, Cheekface: It’s Sorted. my household has been closely following the band since they broke out with Dry Heat/Nice Town, so this band is by no means new to me – in fact, many of the tracks off this album i knew going in, since ive been listening the singles the band has been releasing leading up to this record. the first two tracks came out early, and Largest Muscle near the end and the closer, Plastic, were released near the album release. let’s dig in!

The Fringe is a song about embracing cult following, about finding comfort just outside the limelight. really fun song with a fun chorus to sing along to: “success is cringe! / i wanna be on the fringe”. i really dig how the verses feeling like theyre propelling, like pushing forward relentlessly. extremely funny to follow a song about not being particularly popular with a song called Popular 2. Popular 2 is actually about the rise in surveillance, socially, and the kind of gut emotional reaction to that. if youre never not being watched… why not embrace it. the verses here focus more on the impulse to stay inside, but i really like the chorus again – really fun energy. I Am Continuing to Do My Thing goes for a slightly darker vibe, much funkier. really letting the bass carry the track and having the guitar just style off to the side. neat track, with a fairly seamless transition into Grad School, a song that muses on the experience of going through life, of “waking up again and again”. the second verse here is great, “shift change / you are going from the cradle to grave / then heading back from the tomb to the womb / from grade school to grad school”. the bridge here is also phenomenal, with some trumpet lines providing a bright uplift for the guitar to really go nuts over. Life In a Bag takes a different approach to a similar problem, highlighting a kind of “well, we’re here” vibe to modern living. the keyboard sting that replays throughout the song is a neat touch. i lose it at the “dude!” in the pre-chorus every time. Trophy Hunting at the Zoo is a shorter, much more stream of consciousness song about a kind of toxic modern masculinity, the kind that would do as the title suggested. or start a podcast. or both! There Were Changes In the Hardcore Scene is about, well, changes in a local music scene. funny touch to make this about hardcore music, mostly, but to make it an extremely light and airy song. Largest Muscle, like the other late single Plastic, were nice when i heard them first but really shine on the record. the strutting guitar here on Largest Muscle is really fun, combined with the vocal delivery in the pre-chorus reminds me of like, some New Wavey stuff. showing a lot stronger Talking Heads influence than normal. Don’t Stop Believing is a ballad, calling back to S.T.O.P. B.E.L.I.E.V.I.N.G., and also providing a foil to a track like Life In a Bag, who’s cheery fake optimism is contrasted with a kind of disappointed defeat here. Plastic came outta nowhere to be my top track of the record. phenomenal performances from the whole band – punchy drums, rock solid base line, and tone-perfect guitar throughout the track. the chorus here is catchy, and there’s a double meaning of constructing things out of plastic and a potential way out of plastic.

faves – The Fringe, Popular 2, Life In a Bag, Largest Muscle, Don’t Stop Believing, Plastic
dislikes –

i mentioned up front that ive been a fan of Cheekface for a few years because, more than a lot of other music i talk about on this site, im not even gonna bother with objectivity – i really like this band, haha. i really their off-the-wall lyrical style, and theyve got a fun, quirky, genuine energy to them. i enjoy engaging with music that is this upfront about processing the fucking shit that gets thrown at you, and i have consistently really enjoyed the growth in songwriting and performance over the last few years.

so it should come as no shock that i enjoyed this record a lot. i feel like the band is getting more and more confident both in their process, their songwriting, and their ability to execute, and i think this record absolutely has some of their best work on it.

It’s Sorted – 9/10

support the band by checking this release out on Bandcamp

for the next Weekly Album Review, i’ll be listening to The Incident, by Porcupine Tree. i’ll be back on Friday, February 9th, with that review and to pick another weekly record, and in the meantime, let me know what album you’d like me to review! (i pool all suggestions in one place, and draw a person, then one pick from that person, so feel free to drop as many as you’d like! if you leave an email or username i’ll contact you when i’ve gotten through all your suggestions.)