"Tons of weird rock records have streamed out of Chicago over the past two decades, but none have blended pop smarts and avant-garde impulses as skillfully as this marvelous brainteaser of an album..."
– Time Out New York
"Cheer-Accident are the quintessential Chicago post-rock band that, sadly, you may have never heard of. Too bad. They've been exploring head-scratching, creatively fucked-up time signatures and sideways guitar shenanigans for 20 years now, leaving a pronounced influence on the Windy City's art-rock scene. Their playful musical approach is a ripe aesthetic of absurdist humor."
– D. Shawn Bosler/Pitchfork
released May 31, 2011
Emerging from the incredibly diverse crucible of music that is Chicago, Cheer-Accident embodies and re-affirms the “promises made” by previous generations of progressive rock, post-punk, and post rock bands—the creation of a thoroughly new rock-based music. There are bands with pretty melodies, bands that rock, bands that dazzle with exalted technique, bands that make you laugh, and bands aiming to perplex even the most intrepid listener. Cheer-Accident is all those things and more, truly a band for the 21st century. Cheer-Accident wrap creativeness inside an inviting enigma of honeyed vocals, harmonious pop melody, and thorny dissonance. They have the rare ability to synthesize and juxtapose pure pop, thundering rock, and avant-garde complexity and ambiguity, intuition and intellect, sweetness and sarcasm, to create a stunning signature sound.
No Ifs, Ands, or Dogs, Cheer-Accident’s 17th album is a kaleidoscopic, inclusive trip into a musical madhouse that you’ll want to stay lost within. The core membership of the ever-shifting organism that is Cheer-Accident remains Thymme Jones (vocals, keyboards, brass, synth, drums); Carmen Armillas (vocals), Alex Perkolup (vocals, bass, guitar), D. Bayne (keyboards, trombone) and Jeff Libersher (vocals, guitar, keys, trumpet, bass), with able assists from Andrea Faught (vocals, keys), and Lise Gilly (saxophones), among others. Everyone makes significant and important and wonderful contributions, but since the vocalist is always the focal point in bands, I want to mention that Carmen is a real find, with a powerfully emotive voice; she really lends a huge presence to this album, working beautifully with Thymme and Jeff and the rest.
The songs on No Ifs… run the gamut of everything that makes Cheer-Accident an exceptional band: prickly, lurching psychedelia with honeyed singing, quizzical Steve Reich-meets-King Crimson rockers, and sweetly peculiar soft-pop a la Beach Boys and Free Design. This diversity does not denote dilettantism, however; Cheer Accident empowers and devotes itself to whatever style, mode, or genre it absorbs. Even after a few listens, regardless of stylistic diversity displayed during No Ifs, Ands or Dogs is the commitment to primo performance of the album/music/concept as a whole — songs often lead into one another, going from a self-contained song to a introduction (or a coda) depending on where you are or where your focus is in the listening.
After the critical acclaim and expanded audience that greeted Cheer-Accident after the release of Fear Draws Misfortune, the group responded as they always do; by a reinvention of their sound. A wonderful album that is - as usual - also something completely different!
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