In the red
Wallpaper Music marks a convergence of Jeffrey Novak’s influences that were latent in Cheap Time’s first (Cheap Time) and second (Fantastic Explanations (and similar situations)) full-length releases. Cheap Time, in their most recent incarnation, has found where the fork of un-apologetic, snotty punk and glam-punk melodies meet, and leads them toward artistic maturity. This third album, recorded in Novak’s home studio, features an energetic Ryan Sweeney on drums and a return appearance from Stephen Baren on bass. Novak remains Cheap Time’s only consistent member since he founded the group in 2007.
Released in May 2012, Wallpaper Music is already being heralded as Cheap Time’s greatest work to date. Novak’s sharp abrasive vocals spit out harsh, biting lyrics hosted by complex compositions; however this is not to say their songs have lost their edge: fuzz and lo-fi recording keeps the trio sounding familiar, yet more polished.The ten tracks embellished with screeching guitars and experimental interludes allude to some sort of trajectory for CheapTime—perhaps Novak has found a band that fits, and that
will stick. -AliLopez