Rock on and out: I’ve been to a few gigs at Bar Bodega, but this CD release show has been one of the more full-on ones: The Checks touring in support of the release of their latest album ‘Alice By The Moon’. This is their first, self produced CD since their return from the UK. The fans are more than happy to embrace them back again, and the band seems keen to show they’re better than ever.
The house is packed with excited fans who have been ‘pre-heated’ by The Tin Soldiers and Clap Clap Riot.
The Checks dive straight into it with “Let Your Lover Know” and “Crows”. High energy and heavy beats combined with some amazing vocals bowl me completely over! While “LYLK” seems a bit more sedate, “Crows” just pushes you deeper and faster into dance mayhem. Hypnotic keys introduce “You and Me” and maintain the audiences’ attention during the guitars’ and vocals’ explorations while setting the tempo for a slightly slower, but nonetheless groovy “Hold My Head”. Ed’s voice adds a dark dimension to the otherwise bubbily swaying beat, which gets dismantled half-way through, only to have you dancing blissfully happy at the end again.
Ed’s vocal range from the manic to the somber is truly thrilling to hear. There’s nothing like moving from a sustained scream in the upper range to a rumbling bass in the lower one to showcase a singer’s capabilities. As such I thoroughly enjoyed the live performance, and was again pleased to hear it well executed on the CD. And to top it off, you can understand what he’s singing!
Having listened to the CD, in hindsight, it’s a pity that the intricate layering and juxta positioning of vocals and instruments got a bit lost in the live performance. The sound itself was great, but on the album it sounds as if each player is given the opportunity to shine.
The fans didn’t seem to mind one bit and enthusiastically sang along. In fact, at some stage crowd surfing was undertaken!
Having played their whole album, and as encore some songs from their ‘Hunting Whales’ EP, The Checks left a sweaty, happy and danced-out crowd behind.
Who will be back for more?! Me for one, and then hopefully I’ll be able to film them a bit more and closer up, to share the energy & good times and spread the word!
And here a little taste: