Cherry Cheeks is what happened when the pandemic caused Kyle Harms to spent countless hours behind his computer screen. His self-titled debut LP, a perfect fit with Portland’s primary punk label Total Punk Records, is exhibit A of how boredom, anger, and frustration often results in great music.
Despite the anger and frustration, Cherry Cheeks is not your average punk act. The songs are hyperactive and spazzy, and the music is bass, riff and synth heavy. The record is a cathartic release of boiling frustration, and while Harms’ vocals sounds pretty pissed, there is a strong sense of melody throughout. Listen to the infectious chorus of Go Outside for example, or the bouncy headboppers Two Bugs and D.A.C. And what about Trickin’, a song that makes me want to turn the volume all the way up – sorry neighbors. Boxes is another standout track. Album closer Gone is the killer outsider track on the record. Here, Cherry Cheeks take the foot of the gas pedal, and play a glam rock guitar lick over a steady beat. What a track. What a record!
Cherry Cheeks is out now on tape, with the vinyl release facing some delays. Rumor has it that the next release will even better…kinda crazy.