With all of the blueprints for a new punk band being so overstylized and lacking a real sense of creativity, it's nice to know that some bored kids in Nashville, Tennessee have been absorbing the bratty and disparaging tonality of one of America's greatest teen trash institutions, the early Red Cross sound. Although none of the members are as young as the wee McDonald brothers were in the early 80s, Cheap Time have nailed the power and slop with a dignified grace and finesse that makes it all feel natural. This week, we're spotlighting their debut 7" EP, freshly released on Sweet Rot Records, and packaged in such a classic-looking sleeve that you simply won't be able to stop gawking at it. Three snot-nosed blasters cover the platter so well, I'm left drooling like a dog in anticipation of another Snausage from my master's hand, and yet so simple and careless, it successfully holds the charm that amateurism in underground music so sorely lacks most of the time. Adding the extra level of excitement by incorporating dual male/female vocals is always a nice touch and Cheap Time devour each song with enough rage and wreckless abandon to win over even the saddest sacks in the house, just ask anyone lucky enough to catch their set at the Scoot Inn during this year's SXSW.
While singer/guitarist Jeffrey Novak may have taken a break from his solo stuff and the Rat Traps have been retired, this is exactly what the doctor ordered and it shows what fine range and diversity Jeff's punk he's got in his hands, instead of just trying to juggle his guitar pick with a drumstick while he's playing solo. His other two bandmates, Jemina and Nathan also do time in be your own Pet (vocals & bass), who had their latest record produced by none other than Steve McDonald himself, which may lend creedence to the Cheap Time sound more than any of their other influences. While other bands in recent memory have scraped the surface (early Black Lips and Clorox Girls mainly come to mind) of the raw Red Cross (and subsequently, Redd Kross) inflection, it's Cheap Time that nail it the best, and hopefully this will be the first of many more hits to come from this wiley bunch of Tennessee kids who just wanna smash your face for a good time. Check out two of the 7" tracks HERE and pick up a copy of the first 100 on white vinyl for mailorder only right HERE or via any of our fine mailorder links on the right side of our main page. Keep an eye out for an LP in the near future from In The Red Records as well!
check out Cheap Time doing a cover of "Job" by the Nubs at a house party in Texas this past month: