Cheekface: It’s Sorted [Album Review]

It’s Sorted
Self-Released [2024]

Album Overview: It’s Sorted is Cheekface’s fourth album, following their excellent 2022 LP Too Much To Ask. It finds the band in a slightly different place from previous records, with a more cohesive overall connection of tracks, yet still maintaining their hallmark funny-sad-funny lyrical style. The album reflects on questions of individuality versus conformity within a capitalist society, interwoven with witty commentary on contemporary politics and societal norms.

Musical Style: Cheekface’s musical style on It’s Sorted remains rooted in indie rock, with elements of power pop, punk, and alternative rock. They blend catchy hooks and spoken-sung vocals with gritty basslines, foot-tapping drum grooves, and occasional screaming guitar solos. The album also features experimentation with instruments like horns, Moog, bongos, and record scratches, adding layers to their sound.

Evolution of Sound: On It’s Sorted, Cheekface embraces a more expansive depth to their music compared to their previous records. They experiment with studio production techniques and incorporate diverse instrumentation, exploring new musical territories while staying true to their indie rock roots. This marks a shift from their earlier days of adhering strictly to their live-performance-friendly sound.

Artists with Similar Fire: Cheekface’s sound draws comparisons to artists like Cake, Talking Heads, Pavement, and Jeff Rosenstock. Their blend of clever lyrics, infectious melodies, and off-kilter charm should resonate with any fan of indie rock or even some 90’s alternative rock enthusiasts.

Pivotal Tracks: “The Fringe” kicks off the record with shout-along lyrics, delving into themes of individuality and the desire to break away from societal norms. It is one of four songs on the record that were released as singles in 2023. Following suit, “Popular 2” is one of the most power pop anthems the band has released. Its sunny new wave groove and harmonies are ultra-catchy as it explores surveillance culture. “Life in a Bag” takes a laid-back approach, addressing the pressures of contemporary life and the phenomenon of online shaming. In contrast, “Trophy Hunting At The Zoo” is a just over one-minute punk rock scorch on nepo babies.

Lyrical Strength: The lyrics of It’s Sorted showcase Cheekface’s ability to blend humor with social commentary. Vocalist Greg Katz delivers these tracks effortlessly but with a focus that pulls you into every lyric. With clever wordplay, satirical observations, and a keen sense of irony, It’s Sorted easily resonates with listeners who appreciate thought-provoking songwriting.

Too Much To Ask (2022) / Emphatically No. (2021)

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Thomas Wilde

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