Cheap Time – Wallpaper Music

January 01, 1970

(In the Red)


Wallpaper Music,
the third full-length from Jeffrey Novak’s Cheap Time, finds the Nashville
outfit moving ever closer to the edge of mainstream rock palatability. Of
course, all that really means is that the album sounds like it was recorded in
a cheap demo studio instead of someone’s garage. Musically the band sticks to
its formula of melodic garage rock seasoned with glam and power pop spice,
adding marginally ambitious moves like flute riffs (“Take It If You Want It”)
and psychedelic overload (“Underneath the Fruit Flies,” “Dream It Up”).


If that sounds dismissive, it’s not meant to be. Novak may
keep his arrangements raw and his vocals tunefully challenged, but his songcraft
improves with every tune. The Nikki Sudden-like combo of tight and loose puts
“Night to Night,” “Another Time” and “Typically Strange” several steps above
other acts who keep the car on the driveway. One hopes Novak stays away from
Auto-tune and other mainstream production values, but his continued growth as a
writer should stand him in good stead no matter how much money he has to spend
in the studio.



DOWNLOAD: “Another
Time,” “Typically Strange,” “Underneath the Fruit Flies” MICHAEL TOLAND

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