Band Website: www.cheer-accident.com
Label: Cuneiform Records
Label Website: www.cuneiformrecords.com
Release Date: 2011
By my count this is an astounding 17th release in the nearly 30 year existence of this Chicago based art collective known as Cheer-Accident. And once again they don’t fail to confound us with their interpretation of influences. Cheer-Accident primarily revolves around the multi-instrumental talents of Jeff Libersher (guitar, bass, trumpet, keyboards, vocals), Thymme Jones (drums, vocals, moog, keyboards, trumpet) and Alex Perkolup (bass, guitar, vocals); then as before they surround themselves with an additional ten players and vocalists to craft the somewhat off-kilter music of No Ifs, Ands or Dogs.
Unlike their last musical effort,Fear Draws Misfortune which featured only nine tracks, here there are a total of 15 tracks. Some of them do run together but they seem to be very much separate musical pieces. Musically these guys go from crafting odd pop ditties to strange cacophonous musical excursions. These tunes, most of which tend to run about three or four minutes are simply loaded with musicianship. Things actually start off in unexpected fashion with “Drag You Down” [4:31]. I say unexpected because for the most part this is a rather straight forward pop song with only some off-kilter minor-key lines here and there. Just enough to make you say…wait a moment, that’s not quite right! The band is quick to display their “other-side” on the second track, “Trial of Error” [4:34] with its buzzing, angular distorted lead synth lines and Zappa influenced vocal style. All in all these tunes display a wide range of musical influences such as XTC or Frank Zappa, but in addition to that there are some vocal arrangements that are reminiscent of the Beach Boys and a couple tunes that even sound a bit sixties Brit-pop…but then stir in the prerequisite angular moments, the strange minor keys and chords, some jarring bits of music and you have a very eclectic mix of music that is never boring. As I say some of these tunes do slide into one another giving off a larger-than-life sensibility to the musical proceedings, but by and large I’m left humming the quirky compositions the most.
As I said in my previous review, fans of RIO or Avant-Prog will find much to enjoy here, however prog fans who are looking for something a little bit more adventurous to stretch their listening pallet will also enjoy the work of Cheer-Accident. No Ifs, Ands or Dogs is a really enjoyable CD that rewards you with a new listening experience each time you play it.