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Cheer-Accident - Introducing Lemon

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Artist: Cheer-Accident

Album: Introducing Lemon

Label: Skin Graft

Review date: Feb. 11, 2004

This year marks the 23rd distracted year of existence for Chicago’s Cheer-Accident – or at least for founding member Thymme Jones. Introducing Lemon closely follows the band's Gumballhead the Cat on the Skin Graft release list, the ninth full-length by the oft-changing prog outfit.

The Don Caballero-jamming-with-Yes epic “The Autumn Wind is a Pirate” begins the album. Unusual in its most conventional moments and unsettling in its most complicated, the track cycles through instruments and parts, abandoning and returning to its main themes every so often. Lush, sliding acoustics are buried under cymbals and fuzz, and then reappear with a melodica added to the mix.

“Camp O’Physique” follows with a startling change in mood, with moaning Casio lurking beneath Jones' trumpet and bandmember Jeff Libersher's creepy vocals. “And then they make you run through the bushes and throw glow-in-the-dark Frisbees at your neck,” he growls. The track drags a bit and doesn’t go anywhere, but following the epic “Autumn” with a goof-off electro-nightmare helps lighten the mood.

“Track 29” does some exciting things with natural harmonics, and the layered guitars ping from side to side. For me, it’s a moment that reminds me that Introducing Lemon is a rock record, and not necessarily something more complicated or demanding. The album’s low point, the terribly titled “The Day After I Never Met You,” features Dream Theatre-ish singing and some unspectacular swelling guitar.

Necessary side note with regard to all the best, heaviest parts of Introducing Lemon: This is a Steve Albini record, so as long as someone is playing the drums, it remains interesting. Jones plays a lot like Bonham when he really gets going, and I’m not sure who would let somebody other than Albini record a still-living Bonham. Seems like a no-brainer.

By A.A. Davidson

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