Lobotany is the second EP from London indie punk trio cheerbleederz, following up on 2018’s well received debut faceplant.
Cheerbleederz are a collaboration between Kathryn Woods from Fresh (guitar/vocals), Sophie MacKenzie of Finish Flag (bass/vocals) and Happy Accidents’ Phoebe Cross (drums/vocals).
In lobotany, the band have crafted a quartet of tracks that are unashamedly fed up of your nonsense and having no more of it.
‘say 2 u’ opens with ominous Pixies simplicity. Angelic vocals provide a sharp contrast and evoke a brooding shrug before all hell breaks loose. Suspense is built during a break, before bursting into life two thirds of the way through and cheerbleederz reveal a beautifully aggressive but perfectly controlled final act.
In ‘disco’, a delivery Elastica would take note of, the band have conjured a track that should become a live favourite, lamenting “I pay all my bills/I take all my pills when I’m told/But I was never picked at the disco”. The band cite The Breeders as an influence, and somewhere buried deep in the unconscious of ‘disco’, ‘Divine Hammer’ lurks. Splendid.
Efficiently constructed guitar work lays the foundation of ‘sometimes I cry at work’, a sweetly sneering yell. Layered chorus vocals really add to the sense of urgency, a theme that repeats throughout the EP and has emerged as a key component of cheerbleederz’ sound.
‘gaze of others’ is wrought with genuine emotion expressed through neat vocal interplay that sees the main melody mirrored with complementary supporting backing vocals, that feel like the voice in your head urging contemplative calm, but progression nevertheless. There is understated wit in the lyrics in this collection and you instantly connect.
cheerbleederz have pulled together four outstanding tracks that tease their potential. Listen to Lobotany once and you will have it on repeat immediately. You’ll uncover nuances in vocal performance and subtle guitar inflections that add character and personality to a very fine record indeed.
Lobotany is available from Friday 7th February on Alcopop! Records.