November 7, 2022

Album Review: Cheem – Guilty Pleasure

Smash cut! This record rules! Like, right off the bat, Guilty Pleasure slaps! The first track kicks off with this awesome and trippy electronic ska groove that dives head first into this big slamming funk rollick that’s kind of like progy and jammy at the same and layered with third-wave emo harmonies and some rapid-fire rhymes. Cheem totally figured out how to maximize the physical impact of their grooves at some point and it makes tracks like the supremely funky “Snag” and “Clueless” feel like you’re listening to them live – like someone has just grabbed you by the arm and dragged you through a moss pit to the front of the stage and now you can feel the air displaced by the band’s amps jostling your hair. I can feel the total sonic boom of songs like “Pay2Play” in my sinuses and its there shacking loose decades-old mucus, and numbers like “Emerge” are a major rush, with many ups and downs and spring-loaded variations on hip-hop flows and soulful flavors of rock that it’s like if someone turned Incubus into a Six Flags roller coaster. Guilty Pleasure has some respectable nuance, too- like on “Cheem Szn” where the band threads up vaporwavey parts with body-bagging reggae rock riffs, brash backpack’n rhymes, and falsetto emo-y melodies in a way that’s weirdly delicate but still has a ton of forward momentum. Elsewhere, Cheem keeps it nerdy chic by adding NES beats to the pop-punk powerhouse of “Overload” and then gives many of our beloved indie/emo tropes and standbys a salty-sweet Oysterheaded makeover on the juicy “Mango.” S#!t do I need to say more?!? NO?!? Well, it bares repeating. This record rules!

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