Just in time for the pandemic, it’s CHERYL with her lone single ‘Killer Kiss.’ Just as catchy, though thankfully not as life-threatening, ‘Killer Kiss’ spreads and infects at much the same rate as the old girl groups of the 1960s with pouty/shouty vocals and warnings (danger: heartbreak dead ahead) all done up and updated in a trashy/punk-y throwaway pop style. CHERYL - aka then-eighteen-year-old London-born Cheryl Powling - bored - bounced from school, modeling and dead-end jobs until she caught the eye of former ANIMALS manager and Barn Records boss CHAS CHANDLER.
Recorded at Stage One Studio in London and released in January 1981 on Penthouse Records (perhaps in a nod to another one of CHERYL’s past employers), ‘Killer Kiss’ is an absolute heartbreaker’s declaration of intent. As the ear-worm chorus so proudly states:
One kiss’ll kill ya!
Red hot lips!
Got the kiss of the killer kiss!
It’s a fever, fever, fever!
Buffeted about with an almost QUICK-like nursery-rhyme guitar keyboard run, ‘Killer Kiss’ sound should have carried CHERYL out from Page 3 to the top of the charts, but the single sadly did not make it above the fold. With no future musical prospects, CHERYL packed it in. Cheryl now breeds chickens and works as a professional stained glass artist and mother of three.
Our take: More brilliant vintage power-pop from Reminder Records, who this time give us a reissue of the lone 1981 single from Cheryl. These two songs sound like they’re straight out of the Stiff Records catalog with their amped-up, Phil Spector meets Dr. Feelgood style, but for all of their pop classicism the energy level is as high as any second-wave punk single you can throw at it. Fans of the Pointed Sticks, Nasty Facts, and Protex’s Strange Obsessions should take note, as this has the same time of manic pop energy. Oh, and if you noticed that I used the same comparisons for the Cassie single that came out on Reminder at the same time, that’s because they’re very similar (and similarly awesome). If you love this style, you need both… trust me.