It’s 2 a.m., and I’m racking my brain to find comments of swooning admiration about Cheeseburger’s second EP, Gang’s All Here. Nothing sounds right.
• The name of this band is Cheeseburger. (Shit!)
• The cover art alludes to the grand ol’ tunesmithing of Harry Nilsson by recreating the robbed pose from Nilsson Schmilsson. (Damn it!)
• Cheeseburger walks the line between honesty and irony much to the same effect as John Spencer Blues Explosion, the Mooney Suzuki and Andrew W.K. (Crap!)
• There’s a song about cocaine. (Blast!)
• There’s a song about getting it on in the girl’s room. (Kill me!)
• “Champagne, caviar, ridin’ round in a big black car/ New York, Hong Kong, L.A. where do we come from?” (Oh, man.)
• “Hey, hey, the gang’s all here/ what an ugly bunch of fucking queers.” (Even worse.)
• Power-chord guitar riffs are held to the three R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle. (That won’t do.)
• Vocalist Joe Bradley gruffly growls sleazy sex rhymes that make Louis XIV sound like college professors. (Now you’re just not trying.)
Write, write, write. Delete, delete, delete. One hour later and four times through the EP, and on paper Cheeseburger shapes up to one shitty-ass rock band. Which is a shame, because all I want to do is fawn over the band’s extreme lack of pretentiousness, its let-Iggy-Pop-slap-your-ass-style energy, its humble attempt at nothing more than writing quick-fix, balls-out-fun rock songs, its á la Funhouse sax appearance, its wonderfully primitive beat down on a poorly miked drum set. But I just can’t find words that won’t make the members of this New York trio sound like the dopey amateurs they basically are.
Solution: Listen to Cheeseburger. See them perform. Tell your friends. Discover Cheeseburger doesn’t lend itself well to descriptions. Hold your friends at gunpoint until they listen to Gang’s All Here. Drink a beer. Hug your grandma. Be happy.