Cheeseburger – Gang’s All Here (CD)

A certain amount old, seventies-influenced rock starts off “Gang’s All Here”; replete with the guitar fuzz present on all those old albums, the vocals really cut through the noise and provide for rock in the old style. This is not diminished during “Girl’s Room”; if anything, the guitars assume the fuzz present on many a punk song while the vocals take on a Danzig/Jim Morrison type of feel. The drums provide minute breaks in the vocal and guitar assault present throughout the beginning of the EP. Cheeseburger looks back to the excess and dirty, trashy nature of the rock scene throughout history and revels in that, twenty years after it began to die out. This is not the overblown pop of The Darkness, but rather the rock that issued from places like the Strip back in the seventies and eighties. Instead of being too lit to play their music, Cheeseburger actually shows in “Easy Street” that they have the ability to wow listeners with something more (talking about their virtuosity and skill in arrangement) than the unforgiving nature of the tracks on “Gang’s All Here”. The staggered drum beats and the stop-start motion of the track really highlights this as the most-rounded and memorable on the disc.

Only on one place on “Gang’s All Here” that the distortion present throughout can be said to fail the band; during the sub-two minute “Rats” , the distortion is so heavy that the driving force of the song (either a drum hit or a clapping) is completely obscured. Obviously, the title track on the disc is going to be iconic and remarkable; Cheeseburger makes a jump one step farther with their decision to delete some of the distortion and crank up the vocals to such a degree that the instrumentation really takes a back seat. This is not a negative thing, as when it counts (Seth Misterka’s sax solo) the song becomes leveled out.

Cheeseburger has successfully reincarnated the spirits of the grandfathers of grunge to come up with an EP that is a hit and run that rolls over each and every listener. This is not three individuals jamming out in their garage but rather a band cognizant of the sound they are trying to cultivate as well as the structures that go into each and every note on the disc. “Saturday Night” is a fitting track to end the disc, as it elicits good times drinking and carousing with friends; it could even be conceivable that this album is kicking in the background as one pops open the last PBR.

Top Track: Saturday Night

Rating: 7.1/10

Cheeseburger – Gang’s All Here / 2005 Kemado / 5 Tracks / http://www.cheeseburgernyc.com / http://www.kemado.com / Reviewed 12 May 2005

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