Everyone needs a drug. You can’t live without drugs. If someone tells you they don’t do drugs and have never done drugs they are lying to your face. Now I’m not talking about cocaine or heroin or pot. Those are narcotics, not drugs. A drug is something that moves you, that gets you going, that raises serotonin levels in your brain and makes you feel that good feeling.
A lot of times for me music is my drug. There is nothing like putting on one of your favorite tunes that you’ve heard a thousand times and yet sounds so wholly original every single time you hear it. It gives you visions and makes you feel if only for a moment just a little bit better than you did before.
So when I first heard the cranky rock riffs on “Seine” the first song on London-based two- piece The Cheeky Bastards eponymous self-titled debut The Cheeky Bastards I felt that druggy feeling. To be honest I thought it sounded like the Black Keys meets Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. In fact three out of the four songs on the EP sound like that.
But pop on the two-minute-fifty-second “On the Line” and try to tell me after it’s over that you’re not hooked on its chunky hooks and simple structures. The singer J. Luza even sounds a bit like Ozzy at the height of his powers in Black Sabbath with his screeching wail. The tune “Loser” with its slick riffs, downright danceable drum beats, is rife for a car commercial placement.
The final song on the album, “Troublemaker” is a slow-paced guitar ballad. Needless to say it’s completely out of place with the rest of the garage rock attired tunes on The Cheeky Bastards. But to me it did serve a purpose to hear these two take a song in a completely different direction as they could have easily just written another great three chord ripper.
Needless to say I think The Cheeky Bastards is one of the finest garage rock records I’ve heard in a long time. It just serves to remind me that sometimes it’s the little things that can make such a big impact and the strongest and most lasting impressions.
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