“Don’t sleep. Don’t retreat. Stay a while. Let’s spend the night together. Cheena
testify to a long history of New York nights, trading insults and borrowing beer at rooftop parties that began years ago. There’s plenty of New York in this band – Lou Reed
’s better glam punches found a jawline or two among them, the heavy handed playing of the Dolls
, and that particular manner of NY glam you can hear in Kiss
– that’s all in Cheena.
Spend the Night With… is a soundtrack to nights where revelry and lust are never isolated from poor decisions and vanity, where the grave sincerity of a bathroom confession explodes into cruelty and hysteria. Nights on busy streets or crowded subway cars coloured with elegant ambition and constrained by the practicality of street smarts.
While we say this is NY music, we must also say this is American music. One could imagine a timeless jukebox of American RNR history from hard glam to cocaine / codeine country has blasted into the imbibed ears of our Cheens for many nights on end. Thus we hear songs for and of the night, songs pieced together out of iPhone recordings of 5am guitar histrionics and lyrics scraped out of speed fried text exchanges. There is a long history of bands as disparate as the Byrds, Gun Club and the Flesh Eaters which had to reconcile RNR with country and blues roots; a tradition of truly American music that feeds on itself. This is where I would isolate the sound of Cheena. America eating itself.
Every generation gets the Cheena it deserves because we still live in cities and we still need RNR to live. We still need guitars to be gripped by gods. We still need bards to write odes to heroic crime and ignoble, destitute hedonistic excess. We still need music to drink to that also contains the darkness and disease of hangovers, so we aren’t too far away from what is raw and what is real. With love and admiration, I kiss your hand from Melbourne to the Sacred Bones offices and the 538 roof.”
– DX (Total Control, UV Race, Distort)
LISTEN & SHARE:
Cheena – “Car”
Jun 9, 2016: Brooklyn, NY @ Palisades (w/ Institute)
Jun 17, 2016: Brooklyn, NY @ Union Pool
Aug 12-14, 2016: Los Angeles, CA @ Berserktown III @ Teragram Ballroom
Spend The Night With…
Sacred Bones Records
August 5th, 2016
1. Cry For Help
5. Electric Snoopy Gang
8. 7 Nights
9. Liberated Animal
10. Lost My Way
11. M.E (Bonus Track)
The five members of Cheena – Walker Behl, Margaret Chardiet, Keegan Dakkar, Logan Montana, and Eugene Terry–were all born and raised in New York City and have all cut their teeth in its musical underground. The band formed in 2014 out of their shared affinity for ’77 punk and a mutual respect for Mercer Arts-era NYC early glam and West Coast country punk. They were all friends playing the underground punk circuit, each with the desire to form a band outside of their own genre niches.
Appropriately, then, Cheena finds all five of its members stretching out of their usual comfort zones. Behl’s historically shrieking vocals are replaced with a more harmonious call, Chardiet trades the P.E. table for a fire engine Gretcsh Special Jet / Fender twin combo. Montana taught himself to play slide guitar, Jeffrey Lee style. Dakkar tries out a thundering post-punk bass and Terry, a multi-instrumentalist, settles on drums, forcing himself to play at least two measures slower than any of his previous projects. Spectacularly, the result is a sonically coherent group who sound as though they’ve been playing together for years.
Citing wildly diverse influences– Gary Glitter, Slade, uppers, cartoonish depression, Iggy Pop, 70’s iron on font, Sex Pistols, booze and Hawkwind– their unifying theme is defiantly one of late ’70s proto-punk. Eschewing the genre boundaries in which their other projects are so deeply entrenched, the band manages to channel a pre-internet spirit painfully non-existent in this age of Tumblr fashion and Discogs record collectors.