It's always nice to put out something from your hometown. It's even better when that something is this good. Cherry Cheeks is the work of fellow Orlando resident ( recently relocated to Portland) Kyle Harms. Started in early 2020, CHERRY CHEEKS was born out of countless hours stuck in front of a computer screen with a raging pandemic outside. Kyle put his boredom, boiling over anger, and frustration to work and started a new project. He put out a few bandcamp EPS and limited run tapes that a mutual friend back home turned me onto. He also informed me that there was even better stuff that hadn't yet been released. I hit Kyle up, he sent me a few tracks, and boy was my friend right. EGG PUNK, DEVO-CORE, QUARANTINE PUNK.. whatever the kids are calling it these days this is 12 tracks of bass driven, pop stained, punk agitation. I'm very proud of this record and am ecstatic to say it is indeed 100% TOTAL PUNK!!!!
Our take: Total Punk Records brings us the debut vinyl from this solo quarantine project. I wish my quarantine had been this productive! The drum machine that powers Cherry Cheeks is liable to make many listeners throw them in the egg punk basket, but this record is way too good to be relegated to also-ran status. A lot of the egg punk-type stuff I hear has a fuzzy, noisy sound, which can hide weaker elements in a project’s sound (often the vocals). Cherry Cheeks, on the other hand, sound razor sharp, which makes sense because you want to show off songs this great. Cherry Cheeks remind me of some of my favorite ’77 punk bands in that they deliver high energy pop songs one after another, achieving those goals of electric energy and great songwriting without repeating the same formula over and over. Songs like “Living Room” might lean toward the tougher and faster (though still dripping with hooks), while poppier moments like “Two Bugs” and “D.A.C.” have a sunnier and less manic vibe but are just as effective, if not more so. Cherry Cheeks is great at doling out hooks to the vocals, guitars, and synths without leaning too heavily on any of the three, but after listening to this record a bunch, I think the secret sauce is in the bass playing. It’s propulsive and melodic, and contributes a lot to that razor sharpness I mentioned above. A killer record.
Please Note: Due to shipping, some copies may have a bit of a dinged up corner. We apologize for any inconvenience.