Cheer-Accident – No Ifs Ands Or Dogs

Cheer Accident – No Ifs Ands Or Dogs

So, in my last GEPR update, I called Fear Draws Misfortune “listenable” (among other things). The question I’m asking myself now is whether I’d say the same of their 2011 release No Ifs Ands or Dogs. My answer, for better or worse, is “no”. Not that this makes it a bad album. Quite the contrary, No Ifs Ands or Dogs is a really interesting album, very much able to hold my attention and keep me engaged. Not quite the same as “listenable”. This album does take a bit more work to get through.

Like Fear Draws Misfortune, the array of musical styles is dizzying, from Frank Zappa stylings to songs that sound like The Monkees interpreted by The Residents to your usual Cuneiform type avant-RIO with Magma on backing vocals. One song, “Pre-Somnia”, features a sound that’s halfway between a fuzzed guitar and a bagpipe, leading into “Sleep”, which features the same riff of the same sound as a backing harmony instead of the main focus. Given that there’s a later song called “Post-Somnia” and several other related title-pairs (“Life in Polyanna” and “Death By Polyanna” / “Drag You Down” and “Drug You Down”), there does seem to be some unifying principle behind the album, but I’ll be darned if I can figure out what it is. It seems pretty stream-of-consciousness. “Drag You Down” is especially interesting with its (clearly intentional) rhythmic mis-steps, slow-downs, and overall “not quite up to speed”-iness. And the “Drug You Down” bookend is obviously what this sounds like while on major drugs. But what it has to do with the rest of the album (if anything) is anyone’s guess.

No Ifs Ands or Dogs doesn’t jazz me as much Fear Draws Misfortune did, but nonetheless it’s a good album worthy of a listen or three for those who have what it takes to … uhm … endure this sort of music. That may sound negative, but it’s like the stimulating, adrenaline-pumping part of pain without the actual hurt. Sorta like biting into a jalapeño pepper. And I mean that in a good way. Some people like this kind of pain. I guess I’m one of them, when I’m in the right mood. But don’t play this for someone who thinks “music” is the stuff they hear on The Voice. As Thymme Jones said on their forum, “Hang in there! It starts to get really good in that half-second just before you hear it.”

I did find out something else of interest … Cheer-Accident got their name from a Hallmark card display. I can only guess it was cards that were supposed to cheer you up after you’ve had an accident. Obviously the band found these seemingly contradictory words used together to be a good name for their band. — Fred Trafton

Click here for Cheer-Accident‘s web site
Click here for Cheer-Accident‘s MySpace page
Click here for Cheer-Accident‘s Cuneiform Records page
Click here for Cheer Accident‘s page at Skin Graft Records web site (antiquated)
Click here for a listing of Cheer Accident‘s idea of the top ten best albums of all time. The review of YesRelayer is particularly brilliant. I wish I’d said those things.

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