Staff Cheryl


Senior Staff Writer


Cheryl's last content update – July 21, 2015, 1:33 p.m.

Fat Wreck
Cheryl's most recent reviews
Locrian - Infinite Dissolution album cover


Infinite Dissolution, 2015

8.5 / 10

Locrian’s approach to metal is to disassemble the core structures, push them further away from their crude beginnings and delve into building them back up again into towering walls of ...

Sick/Tired - Dissolution  album cover


Dissolution , 2014

7.5 / 10
200 Words Or Less

Sick/Tired don’t mess about. They’re angry, and they want you to know about it and they do so via the medium of fast, raw grindcore. The Chicago band pound through ...

Frog - Kind Of Blah album cover


Kind Of Blah, 2015

7.5 / 10

Frog’s second LP Kind of Blah is one that swings from highs to lows, from poppy pep to slowed down sadness and it encompasses every other emotion within it’s short ...

Six Of Swords - Polar Vortex EP album cover

Six Of Swords

Polar Vortex EP, 2015

7.5 / 10
200 Words Or Less

Modern death metal often suffers under the weight of trying to emulate old school heroes while not doing very much of interest at all, so it’s a nice surprise when ...

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Cheryl's most recent features

One Question Interviews Northumbria

Posted April 6, 2015, 3:06 a.m.

Dorian Williamson (Northumbria) SPB: You recorded your first album in a church - what was it about the space that appealed to you and what kind of spaces would you like ...


One Question Interviews Rome

Posted April 6, 2015, 3:03 a.m.

Jerome Reuter (Rome) SPB: You're playing some anniversary shows this year and visiting some interesting places - How did you decide which countries to play in?  Reuter: I have to ...

AMSG 666

One Question Interviews AMSG 666

Posted Jan. 11, 2015, 11:29 p.m.

AngelFukk Witchhammer (AMSG 666) SPB: How important is Satan to you/the band and what does that belief mean to you? Witchhammer: Luciferianism for me is breathing /living each day ...

Pinkish Black

One Question Interviews Pinkish Black

Posted Dec. 25, 2014, 8:18 p.m.

Pinkish Black SPB: You had a curious sample from an obscure British comedy on your first record - how did you come across Snuff Box and why did you include it ...

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Cheryl's most recent news stories
1QI: Michael Crafter, Abrams, frog, Matthew Ryan

Bands 1QI: Michael Crafter, Abrams, frog, Matthew Ryan

Posted July 21, 2015, 1:33 p.m.

Welcome to our almost daily quickie Q&A feature: One Question Interviews. Follow us at facebook & twitter and we'll post an interview four days each week, typically every Monday-Thursday ...

Dave Bate (Michael Crafter)
SPB: What is a hyped band, TV show, or movie that you just can’t get into?
Dave: I can’t get into anything metalcore. The fact that it is so big in this country is actually embarrassing. It is the worst genre of metal ever created.  Our band name and some lyrics are obviously a piss take on metalcore, its members and bands.  On a positive note, I reckon there are some amazing bands in Australia from other genres of metal, punk, and hardcore and we have a great scene over all. Check out Ether Rag, Vile Specimen, Christ Crusher, The Kill, Captain Cleanoff, Shackles, Extortion, and Hostile Objects. 
Taylor Iversen (Abrams)
SPB: What club has the worst bathroom?
Taylor: Some notable Denver bands on the road like to take pictures of the various bathrooms they encounter with the addendum #TourBathrooms, so I'd say this question pitches right to our wheelhouse. 
The worst bathroom we've found on the road so far is at The Blue Lamp in Sacramento. Don't get me wrong: the club, sound and staff are great, but the toilet doesn't even have a seat.
Locally, it's gotta be Carioca Cafe. The place is a legend to the Denver scene, no doubt: cheap drinks, loud music, and fun times, but that bathroom is something else. No amount of artistic and intricate graffiti can cover the ever present stench of sour shit-piss that seems to reside in that tiny little cell. Unisex by the way, and the door don't lock. You're gonna see some cocks. I guess that could be a plus depending on who you ask. 
Check out #TourBathrooms on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date on all the various pissers and shitters on the road, and catch us at any of the clubs below on our summer US tour for an in-depth look at the toilets we'll be blowing up across America.
Tom White (Frog)
SPB: What do you remember of playing your first live show?
Tom: We played 15 second covers as a house band for a live improv comedy show. We played between acts, but most of the acts didn't know we were going to play, so they would walk out and start talking, and then have to stop so we could belt out a few seconds of "The Scientist." We played one original song at the end of each night, and at that point our only song was "Nancy Kerrigan."  
We played 5 or so of these shows before we had enough material to play an actual full set to an actual empty bar. That was an amazing time for us. Huge thanks to Danny Jolles. 
Matthew Ryan
SPB: Is there a regional food you look forward to when you tour?
Matthew: One of the best parts of touring is getting to enjoy the local culture and foods. My times in Italy stand as my favorite experiences, meal after meal. Late night focaccia fresh out of the oven in some ancient square to absorb a fair amount alcohol stands as a particularly memorable medicine. Or some incredibly warm drink that traced a warm light through my insides after a great meal in Bologna. Still don't know what the name of that drink was. In the northeast US there's a ton of great foods: Philly Cheesesteaks, Hoagies, New York pizza, Disco Fries and inventive omelets at Greek diners and family owned restaurants. The Meat and 3s of the south. And the tex-mex of Texas. Toronto is an amazing food city of just about anything you'd want. Old Quebec too. Edinburgh, Scotland stands out as well for all the great meals and Scotch. And I'm reminded of a dish I had in Stockholm that was meat, potatoes and a raw egg. Simple and out of this world. And finally, it was a slow love for the ploughman's sandwich in England. Initially boring and odd to me, I find now that I can't wait for another one. Oh and banana milk in Germany. It goes on and on.   

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1QI: Laura Stevenson, Tidemouth, DJ Trackstar, The Space Merchants

Bands 1QI: Laura Stevenson, Tidemouth, DJ Trackstar, The Space Merchants

Posted July 13, 2015, 2:02 p.m.

Welcome to our almost daily quickie Q&A feature: One Question Interviews. Follow us at facebook & twitter and we'll post an interview four days each week, typically every Monday-Thursday ...

Laura Stevenson
SPB: What is the biggest thing you’ve learned about performance since moving to a solo approach?
Laura: So the biggest thing I've learned about performance since I began a solo-approach. I'd have to say pacing. I used to be oblivious to how important that is, and I would fly through songs when I played solo because I was nervous and not focusing on the whole. I was just like, in my head, "Okay you got through that verse and didn't forget anything, next verse hope that'll be okay"…and that would be my internal monologue throughout the entire set which is a really bad thing. Not only does it distract you from the experience, but it disconnects you from the audience and from the words you're singing and helps to feed anxiety and it just basically turns you into a nervous, sweaty, twitchy person and makes you wonder why people paid money to come and see you act crazy in front of them.  
Anyway, two years ago my band was on a tour that really changed everything for me. The headliner was Tim Kasher, who is the best, and Jake Bellows opened about a week of the shows. It was crazy to watch Jake play solo every night and be the most incredible, engaging, magnetic singer I had ever seen. And he never rushed it, he just had the best pacing. Everything was so controlled but also really loose and honest. He's kind of the model for what I wish I could do and how I wish I could perform. He just sucks you right in and makes you feel so lucky to be watching him play. So, yeah, pacing. Just play the song and get in it every time and don't worry about anything else. If you fuck up, chances are everyone will be on your side. 
Mike Kilker (Tidemouth-vocals)
SPB: What do you think of bands playing an entire album as a tour concept?Mike: I love when bands that haven't toured in a while play an old record that everyone knows, the record that made people fall in love. I'm a nostalgic guy. On the other hand, if your new record just came out, and although it may be a banger, it's not the reason I'm here. Play me some greatest hits, Dad.
DJ Trackstar
SPB: Do you feel the value of a DJ has diminished in present day hip-hop? If so, do you see a resurgence on the horizon? 
DJ Trackstar: Compared to a couple decades ago, I'd say it definitely has. Recorded hip-hop definitely features far fewer scratches than they used to--in the 80s and 90s, a lot of albums would have entire songs dedicated to the DJ! As far as performance, I think having a DJ keeping the pace and adding scratches is still a really important part of any live hip-hop show. A lot of artists travel without one, just using whoever the house DJ is at the venue--at worst it can be a disaster, and even at best it doesn't compare to the polish of an act that has established trust and communication with their own guy. Hopefully this next generation of youth who have come up with a huge exposure to EDM culture may value the role differently since they will be more accustomed to seeing DJs as the centerpiece of performances.
Michael Guggino (The Space Merchants)
SPB: What is your primary tour food? 
Michael: We really don't have a primary tour food, though we are very into food. We always like to get the standout food in the cities we tour. Like pulled pork sandwiches at Tony Luke's in Philly or Joe's Kansas City BBQ. Ani is a vegetarian so she is the only one with any kind of limitations. We are the kind of band that would give up a hotel or somewhere comfortable to sleep to eat a good meal. I used to do sound on a cooking show where I followed Little Big Town singer Kimberly Schlapman around the country while she went to farms and restaurants. Needless to say I got to eat some amazing food and I take that chance to share some of the places I've been with the band. When we don't get to eat good food, snacks are key. We love snacks.

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1QI: Gonzovillain, Invisible Things, Hard Girls, Warm Needles

Bands 1QI: Gonzovillain, Invisible Things, Hard Girls, Warm Needles

Posted July 9, 2015, 2:21 p.m.

Welcome to our almost daily quickie Q&A feature: One Question Interviews. Follow us at facebook & twitter and we'll post an interview four days each week, typically every Monday-Thursday ...

Nathan Kearney (Gonzovillain)
SPB: Is there a particular record you’ve heard this year that surprised you? In a good or a bad way?
Nathan: I'd say that the record that's surprised me the most this year is Institute's EP Salt. They're a band from Texas who, for me, represent what I first got into when I got into "punk" music. It's imperfect and feels like it could fall apart at any moment. As a frontman, I wish that I could have half of the onstage persona that their lead singer has. I've watched some youtube videos of them (especially one from a public access show in Texas) and, even though the band as a whole are tight and present, my eyes always wander to his schizo-yelps that he makes as he flails and contorts. It surprised me mainly because it seems natural and not some pose or posture struck. It's not like that doesn't exist in modern music (it absolutely does) but, like I said, I got sour on "punk" music for quite a while because it didn't feel like I was seeing any of that. 
Jim Sykes (Invisible Things-drums)
SPB: In songwriting, how do you draw the line between taking influence and mimicking?
Jim: Honestly I think bands should be sued if they cop someone's style. I don't care if it's the same melody but played in a totally different style - that shows creativity. But when I hear a band write an "original" song but it sounds exactly like Coldplay, I get a very sad feeling inside. As a drummer I think it's okay if I copy John Stanier. How could I not?
Hard Girls
SPB: What is the most valuable thing you’ve lost on a tour?
Morgan: Mostly we lose things like phone chargers and sunglasses, shirts and t-shirts, crap like that…I guess you could say we’ve all lost our wide-eyed innocence on the road…SIGH…
We have lost 2 drum seats and one drum kick pedal over the years.
Mike: On our last tour I left my only coat in Virginia two days before it started snowing. Luckily I was able to find a ridiculously cheap one (likely made by the Camorra or the Triads or something) before long, but otherwise I'd have frozen to death in Kentucky.
Andy (Warm Needles)
SPB: What was the most memorable thing to happen during recording Inconsolable?
Andy: Oh geez, good question. Luckily now I can laugh about it. We actually recorded the record ourselves in our own space with our own equipment. This is also the first time I've ever done any real recording or used this equipment so it was a learning process from start to finish, with still a lot to learn. So, the most memorable part of recording Inconsolable was when, after days and many hours of recording I had to scrap everything we had done due to "technical difficulties." Read: "not knowing what the hell I was doing." 8 of 11 live tracks swept into the trash. I broke the news to the dudes and we picked up our crap and just started over. But yeah, sinking heart feeling level 10.

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1QI: Soul Asylum, Jxckxlz, Serious Beak, Georgia Maq

Bands 1QI: Soul Asylum, Jxckxlz, Serious Beak, Georgia Maq

Posted June 30, 2015, 2:17 p.m.

Welcome to our almost daily quickie Q&A feature: One Question Interviews. Follow us at facebook & twitter and we'll post an interview four days each week, typically every Monday-Thursday ...

Dave Pirnier (Soul Asylum – vocals)
SPB: Who is your favorite musician you’ve discovered in New Orleans?
Dave: Henry Butler first comes to mind.
I saw him for the first time at the Funky Butt and he was playing the midnight to 4am slot. Seeing that he is blind, I was able to sorta stick my head in his grand piano and listen without him even knowing I was there and made going to his gigs a ritual.
There are so many amazing musicians in New Orleans, but it was pretty much the street parades and Henry's piano playing that ultimately made move there.
We eventually became friends and he came out to LA to do some sessions with us. I haven't seen him in a while as he moved away after Katrina, but I really miss him being in New Orleans.
SPB: Which of your songs is hardest to play live?
Nathan (vocals): “Trophic Level,” ‘cause I just scream like a manic dog for 5 minutes plus.
Max (drums): “Solace,” as it’s technical, fast and we play it first quite often. Or “Alpha & Omega,” because I’m usually tired as fuck at that point.
Lachlan (guitar): “Distractions From You.” Stupid difficult riffs.
Serious Beak
SPB: When did you decide that you want to make music for a living? 
Andrew Mortensen (bass): When I finished high school. But then I discovered to “make a living” from music, you had to play shit covers, in shitty RSLs, out in the middle of nowhere to pissed arseholes.
So I got a day job and just did original music that I enjoyed. 
Lachlan R. Dale (guitar): Morts is on the money there. Making music for a living in Australia is a nightmare, especially if, like us, you play obscure or experimental music.
Every member of Serious Beak has a day job, and we all bleed a lot of money for this band.
The idea of covering pop songs in some drab RSL for the rest of my life just to scrape by makes me want to kill myself. 
Georgia Maq
SPB: What song would you want played at your funeral? 
Georgia: I'd like “Two Worlds” – Tiger’s Jaw played at my funeral. 

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Cheryl's most recent blogposts

Caïna @ The Unicorn

Posted Sept. 8, 2013, 3:25 p.m. by Cheryl

Caïna, Hordes, Barshasketh The Unicorn London, UK September 6 2013 We've been talking a lot about the rebirth of Caïna of late and we'll soon have a review of the new ...

Winterfylleth @ The Black Heart

Posted Jan. 29, 2013, 7:50 a.m. by Cheryl

The tiny Black Heart in Camden holds court to an evening of droned out sludge, traditional heavy doom, and more English black metal than you can shake a stick at ...

Show Review: The Great Old Ones w/Terzij de Horde and Oblivionized @ The Unicorn, London (January 5th 2013)

Posted Jan. 9, 2013, 12:17 a.m. by Cheryl

The Unicorn is suffering from a severe lack of air con tonight, the tension in the air made all the palpable by the insane levels of heat and the anticipation ...

Show Review: Neurosis and Godflesh @ Kentish Town Forum, London (December 2nd 2012)

Posted Dec. 8, 2012, 8:39 p.m. by Cheryl

The view that Scene Point Blank has been afforded for tonight’s performance is beautiful, and the sea of heads below on the floor is all the more astonishing seen from ...

Cheryl's bio

"Without music, life would be a mistake."
Writer. SPB Social Media Contributor. 

I also like coffee and film and cats. 

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Cheryl's SPB contributions

106 reviews 22 features 110 news posts 5 blogposts


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