Posted on May 8th, 2014 (4:01 pm) by Jesse Clark

What do spaceships, toddlers, jars of beer and Model T cars all have in common with each other? They provide the means of stability for Geronimo!'s existence, or so they say on their Facebook page. Whether they are being playful or not, there's no fooling around about the fact that their new album Cheap Trick is a bit of an oddity. With an opening track like "Electric Parrot" which drones in your ears heavy with sludgy electric guitar and robotic vocals squawking surreal phrases—a bold way to open up a punk album, no doubt. But Geronimo! is more than just a punk band as they have a tendency to play hardcore music that's somewhat out of the ordinary.

The fun doesn't begin until the thrashing drums and blinding guitar notes of "1000 Realities" knocks us dead with it's power pop punk theme that gives it a sound more similar to alternative rock but undoubtedly harsher. Yet they maintain the roots of punk with their rebellious attitudes not only through their lyrics put in their unconventional approach to punk which leans more towards grunge and metal. Cheap Trick proves that being punk doesn't have anything to with what kind of clothes you wear or what kind of bullshit you preach about. What it truly means to be punk is to turn away against any type of conformity which is the idea their image and sound convey whether it's intentional or accidental. We hear pop punk influence saturated in the melody and fierce vocals of "Aging Sound" while the tone of Kelly Johnson's guitar has more of an alternative/post-punk sound and Matt Schwerin is playing chaotic rhythms almost impossible of categorization. At heart Geronimo! are a punk band but judging by the last thirty seconds of "Aging Sound" which bleed into the heavy and hardcore "Bungle and Botched" they have a habitual instinct to be experimental when given the opportunity. We hear this especially with "60 Ways to Tie a Tie" which sounds more reminiscent of noisy metal bands like Mastodon and Dillinger Escape Plan, but they dip in and out of a mellow jam that sounds more Pavement-like indie rock. Needless to say, Cheap Trick is a tough album to crack because so much is going on it comes off unbalanced which is unfortunate because we really admire the direction toward which Geronimo! are aiming their music. Nevertheless there are still some concrete tracks on the LP like the slick and stylish downtempo "Future Home" with it's dystopian guitar crackling and transcendental rhythm. The thrashy "Mr. President," which was the first single of the album, demonstrates Geronimo!'s true nature as a punk band with colorful guitar licks and cynical lyrics. "Magic Waters" reminds us that they have a little something more to offer with doom-ish hard rock chords, humorous lyrics, and even theremin? Yep, there's plenty of theremin. "Spitting in the Ocean" throws us one more glittery power punk tune to relish in before leaving us in captivation by the noisily melodic "Euphoria." Geronimo! bring the album full circle with "Wav Memories" which features more distorted vocals and a melody suspiciously close to the album's opening track. Coincidence? We think not.

All in all, Geronimo! have some kinks they still need to work out in regards to the balancing out the content of their studio albums. The music on Cheap Trick is exciting and engaging but it's too all-over-the-place to be considered a solid album. It's an album worthy of your time but not worth the effort to make a Facebook status bragging about it. Geronimo! have some great ideas and a lot of enthusiasm; they just need to harness it all into a more focused concept. Otherwise they have a lot of great stuff to expand on and we hope they do.

Track List:

  1. Electronic Parrot
  2. 1000 Realities
  3. Aging Sound
  4. Bungled and Botched
  5. 60 Ways to Tie a Tie
  6. Future Home
  7. Mr. President
  8. Spitting in the Ocean
  9. Euphoria
  10. Wav Memories
Geronimo!: Cheap Trick
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

64 / 100
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