‘Barrel of a Gun’, the first single, kicks off with an infectious punctuation of verses and melodic choruses. As catchy as it is, it’s too gritty to be called radio rock.
‘Storm’, ‘Sweetness of Youth’ and ‘Head in the Ground’ make for more commercial listening whilst never selling out. The guitar solo and vocal breakdown of ‘Head in the Ground’ is proof of that. Of these easily paced tracks, ‘People’ stands out the most.
‘Chariot’ is full of sincerity, almost a punk ballad as it repeats, ‘We’ll not participate in your show.” CHERRIES ON A BLACKLIST don’t have to – they are the main show.
That underlying punk rock attitude is wonderful in many places. It’s an aspect of the band i’m more drawn too. ‘The Fallout’ picks up the pace so that we’re led to much more in the well-named ‘Glorious Days’. Similarly, it’s the verses that rage whilst the choruses encourage sing-a-long. It digs deep, switching into urgency that supports my praise of this band. This is the track that you should listen to first, the one that rolls their different faces into one.
To ensure that i don’t decode them, these lads (from Greece, Germany and Mexico) follow it with the ballad ‘Beauty is a Lie’. It’s an alternate wonder making good use of harmony.
It left me unprepared for the frenetic and insane genius of ‘Sex & Via’. Oh my WOW! I’m not going to try describe the most original song i’ve heard in a long time except to say that i felt the same way when i first heard System of a Down’s ‘Atwa’ and Orphaned Land’s ‘Sampari’. It needs a video. The world needs to know this song!
‘The Road’ draws us to a sad but emphatic end. It’s vocally based, guitar barely kissing it so as to allow its sincerity. It’s lyric of “dreams on fire” describes it well.
It’s hard to define CHERRIES ON A BLACKLIST. They appeal to different parts of me. It’s as if a seemingly maniacal enemy mashed together the unlikely ingredients of At the Drive-In, Trapt and Rise Against. Then, at the end of the “movie”, there’s a twist in the plot so that the maniac turns out to be a fanatical music lover out to save us by delivering a messiah to worship.
Compliments would be incomplete without saluting German producer Olman Viper. At no stage was there egotistical overshadowing of instruments. He skipped special effects to encourage the music to speak for itself.
Glorious Days is entertaining, sincere and creative, the most original rock album of the year!
Best songs: ‘Sex & Via’, ‘Glorious Days’, ‘Barrel of a Gun’ and ‘The Road’. Listen to (and buy) them below:
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