Cheap Girls – Knock Me Over (Stream)
by Steven Spoerl
Cheap Girls have been one of the more intriguing touring acts since their debut, Find Me A Drink Home. While their deeply-indebted 90’s powerpop sound has proved surprisingly divisive, it’s always been hard to label them as revivalists. Theirs has been a sound that’s felt, more than any other act treading those waters, genuinely timeless. Even with 2012’s extraordinary Giant Orange, the band earned comparisons to bands as varied as Big Star, R.E.M., Elvis Costello, and the Gin Blossoms. They’ve always put exquisite care into their songcraft, no matter what the release (“Pure Hate” off of a split 7″ with Lemuria deserves to be considered a classic) and the upcoming Famous Graves looks to continue that trend.
Famous Graves will be the band’s first effort for new label Xtra Mile Recordings, after jumping off of Rise- a metal label that’s core audience frequently reacted very negatively to the band. Xtra Mile looks to be a much better (and much more beneficial) fit for the band, especially considering the levels of early enthusiasm for a record that has ample time for a pre-release run (Famous Graves is out officially on May 13th). Kicking off that pre-release run is “Knock Me Over”, which finds the band in typically outstanding form. Lead personality Ian Graham infuses the hard-driving powerpop song with characteristically weary lyrics that don’t lack in wit or memorable lines. It’s this quality, matched with the band’s increasing ambition, that makes them a perfect fit for their upcoming tour alongside literary-minded Midwest (via Brooklyn) music staples The Hold Steady.
Really, the closest cousin that “Knock Me Over” seems to have are the songs The Hold Steady have slowly been unveiling in advance of Teeth Dreams. Both bands draw a lot of influence from classic rock archetypes and both instill a sense of youthful exuberance into their work, no matter how battered the core topics are. There’s a sense of a kind of beautiful acceptance in both bands’ Us vs. the World mentality, as both realize that the world’s always going to win just by virtue of being bigger. Cheap Girls summarize this acceptance best in the chorus of “Knock Me Over”, lacing it with a subtle pang of regret that makes their lesson feel hard-won. Listen to “Knock Me Over” below and take a trip through a selection of the band’s discography here.