Staff Cheryl


Senior Staff Writer


Cheryl's last content update – July 29, 2016, 5:26 a.m.

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Cheryl's most recent reviews
Woman is the Earth  - Torch of Our Final Night album cover

Woman is the Earth

Torch of Our Final Night, 2016

8.5 / 10

Woman is the Earth aren’t a new prospect, but latest record Torch of Our Final Night is a massive step forward for them in sound and scope and so, quite ...

Katatonia - The Fall of Hearts album cover


The Fall of Hearts, 2016

8.5 / 10

Katatonia’s evolution over their twenty five year career has been one that’s taken in doom, death metal, gothic soundscapes and progressive beats, but more than anything, a deeply felt emotional ...

Perturbator  - The Uncanny Valley album cover


The Uncanny Valley, 2016

9.0 / 10
Multiple Authors

The Uncanny Valley pulses in high concept waves and the mastermind behind it all, Perturbator (composer James Kent), creates visual magic with naught but a synthesiser and a slick, rain-soaked ...

Oranssi Pazuzu - Värähtelijä album cover

Oranssi Pazuzu

Värähtelijä, 2016

8.5 / 10

Värähtelijä marks Oranssi Pazuzu’s fourth foray into the outer reaches and the Finnish band pull no punches in creating a record that melds tripped out cosmic rhythms with the distinct ...

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City States

One Question Interviews City States

Posted Sept. 30, 2015, 12:16 a.m.

Joel (City States) SPB: How do you find the time to work on so many projects and do your regular day job (if you have one)?  Joel: At the risk ...


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 ...

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1QI: Mike Bell & the Movies, Bossk, Planet B

Bands 1QI: Mike Bell & the Movies, Bossk, Planet B

Posted July 29, 2016, 5:26 a.m.

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

Mike Bell (Mike Bell & the Movies)
SPB: What was the best show you’ve seen in the past year? 
Mike: May 15th, 2015, Mac McCaughan and the Non Believers, Underground Arts Philadelphia, PA
I had kept myself away from the album ‘cause my plan was to purchase directly from Mac. Now to say Superchunk was a major influence in my songwriting within the last decade would be a gross understatement. The chance to see Mac perform his new songs and stripped down Superchunk songs...I WAS STOKED. The show was great! There weren't many people there, it was raining, but a ton of friends ended up in attendance. Eric from Lame-O, Jake and Ian from Modern Baseball, Peter from Dogs on Acid/The Movies...I am forgetting a few...
The show was super intimate. Mac even threw in a couple of tunes "Billy Bragg-style" in the middle (just him and an electric guitar). After the set I went to purchase the record and the guitar player from The Non-Believers informed me I would have to wait for Mac, since he was the only one with a Square reader. I road home in the rain on my bike as fast as I could and listened to that record four times. Interesting postscript to the story: this was also how I learned Mac's real name was Ralph. [The online receipt for payment was to a Ralph MacCaughn]
Tom (Bossk)
SPB: What song would you want played at your funeral? 
Tom: "Comfortably Numb" by Pink Floyd.  It's my favorite song of all time.
Luke Henshaw (Planet B)
SPB: How has the increasing digitalization of music changed how you listen or record?
Luke: To me, with the increasing digitalization of music, a lot of what I hear is all sounding the same and I’m having a hard time differentiating who's who. There’s no creativity with the production. Everyone's sharing and using the same software with the same functions. I'm also finding a lack of actual song writing occurring right now as well. Digital programs make it so anyone with a computer can push 1 button and record a song, not anyone with a guitar. 

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1QI: Two Houses, Slow Code, Primitve Weapons, Nonpareil

Bands 1QI: Two Houses, Slow Code, Primitve Weapons, Nonpareil

Posted July 23, 2016, 1:56 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 ...

Mike (Two Houses)
SPB: Do you have any vinyl that your own strictly for collector’s purposes but never listen to?
Mike: No one in the band does. Norman Marston, who recorded and mixed our full-length, I Feel So Good I Can't Stand Myself (out this summer on Rad Girlfriend), has a bunch of records he has two copies of (one to listen to one to not listen to I guess). 
I don't get it, seems crazy, but he worked at a record store for a while, so I guess you can get away with that when you got a discount. 
Charlie Wagner (Slow Code) 
SPB: How much space is your home is dedicated to music (instruments or records)?
Charlie: While the basement is jam-packed with guitars and amps and odds-and-ends, our physical media game is pretty weak, though 95% of the time there's a record being played through the living room stereo, and the house is almost exclusively decorated with silkscreens and fliers and posters on every available section of wall.
Dave Castillo (Primitive Weapons)
SPB: What is the weirdest description you’ve heard others say of your music/ Do you think it’s accurate or do you see where it came from?
Dave: The weirdest way we've been described was as a spacey doom band. WTF is that?
Jef Wright (Nonpareil)
SPB: What venue is your favorite to play (and why)?
Jef: Currently, I'd say that Valley Bar is my favorite venue to play in Phoenix. It could be because I have played so many venues here over the years and Valley Bar has only been open for about a year, but it also is a unique spot with great sound. Loading gear down an elevator to play in a nice cool basement makes me feel like I am on tour on the East Coast. It's also a perk that they serve some tasty food there as well!

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1QI: Aideen, Andy, Spyros and Scott

Site News 1QI: Aideen, Andy, Spyros and Scott

Posted May 4, 2016, 3:10 p.m.

Welcome to our almost daily quickie Q&A feature: One Question Interviews. Follow us on facebook and twitter and we'll post one interview every Monday-Thursday. Okay, sometimes we miss ...

SPB/Spyros: How did you get started as a music writer? And what was it that drove you to that direction?
Aideen: I don't have the musical talent to be a musician, but I love writing and I love music so pursuing music journalism seemed like a natural progression from there. I started by writing a (very small, practicality invisible) blog and got a few things published, and then went on to study journalism for a few years.
SPB/Nathan: How much does the music you listen to shape you as a person - is it difficult to separate yourself from the music, or is it who you are, etc. 
Andy: My taste in music has evolved and expanded greatly over time, and to some extent, I am not as connected personally to music today as I was at various points in the past.  At times, I've found albums or pieces of music that I really felt a strong connection with and seemed in perfect harmony with where I was as a person.  Songs About Leaving by Carrissa's Wierd was one such album - for better or worse, it represented where I was at the time when I discovered it.  Even today, it ties me to a specific place, time, and mindset even though that mindset isn't where I'm at now. Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Vol. II will always remind me of a friend's apartment where it was often played almost continuously.
In the past decade or so that I've been doing music reviews, I've explored more music rather than really dwell on albums like I did in the past.  This has been exciting in its own way since I've happened upon a lot of interesting material, but I haven't gotten as connected to most of it since I often simply move on to the next thing - I don't have as much time as I used to to devote to listening.  Still, it's hard to deny that music has shaped my personality. Though I still have an appreciation for harder and more aggressive music that I listened to almost exclusively in my youth (and definitely played a part in shaping who I was at the time), I'm more interested today in finding new adventures with music that stimulates my imagination. My recent listening habits almost certainly have toned down certain aspects of my personality, which probably isn't an altogether bad thing.
Spyros Stasis
SPB/Andy: (How) Has work in sound engineering affected your music tastes and/or reviewing?
Spyros: It has not affected so much my outlook on the quality of the production, so it does not mean that when I cannot listen to the old Darkthrone albums anymore. I still consider that sometimes certain bands or artists do require a more rough production, something that would not be as polished, for instance, staying with my Darkthrone example, I cannot imagine Transylvanian Hunger with a pristine production.
However, sound engineering in general got me into more experimental music and artists that would try and push the boundaries of what is supposed to be the norm sonically. So I think it had a great influence in me becoming more open-minded about the music I listen to.
Scott Wilkinson
SPB/Loren: Who's your dream interviewee?
Scott: Well that's a tough question, years ago it would have been George Harrison but due to unforeseen circumstances that can't be arranged (unless you have some pull Loren). I think now it would be Peter Gabriel. My main interest in him would be centered around Genesis and his constant refusal to reunite with the rest of the gang and yet be willing to tour with Sting...

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1QI: Phobia, Moonraker, The Blind Pets, Bad Cop/Bad Cop

Bands 1QI: Phobia, Moonraker, The Blind Pets, Bad Cop/Bad Cop

Posted April 26, 2016, 2:28 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 ...

Shane Mclachlan (Phobia)
SPB: What is the most thankless job in the music industry?
Shane: Well, as for me being a vocalist, I'm the guy everybody wants to talk shit on, spit on, and blame everything on. Nobody fucks with the bass player: he is always the nice guy. So my job is thankless in the sense of not being thanked for the passion and integrity to write lyrics and go up on stage and sing them and being able to influence a lot of people in a positive way... But then if somebody takes it the wrong way and they shoot themselves, you're fucked!
Nick Sucks (Moonraker – bass/vocals)
SPB: Basements or bars?
Nick: Both. They both have their appeals and drawbacks. Basements are normally DIY and all ages, essentially a subterranean house show. Since we live in California, we love to play basements because those types of shows are pretty rare here. Cops aren't usually called because of the sound being contained in the basement. That also means the hardcore band that somehow drilled a tunnel large enough to get their ridiculous 8x10 bass cab down there will be destroying your ears. The PA sound quality is normally nonexistent as well but that's not what you go to a basement show for anyway. You're there to get just as sweaty as the band and scream out every word to a song you don't even know the lyrics to in the most intimate space.
Bars are alright but you definitely remember the good ones: if the house music is rad or the bartender has a Lawrence Arms tattoo or just fun regulars, all cool things you look for in a bar you play. Unfortunately bars can't do all ages shows which kinda sucks. Normally the bar also has to take a cut if there was a cover charge. You also run the risk of playing a bar that didn't know what they were doing and thought punk meant you would play mostly covers of Sublime and The Offsping's later discography.
The best place I can recommend is the best of both worlds: The Millhill Basement in Trenton, New Jersey. A punk rock dive bar in a basement where the bartenders are rad and we normally drink way too much. Cheap drinks, stickers everywhere, and music that reverberates off the concrete walls loud as fuck. Go there.
Joshua Loggan (The Blind Pets – guitar/vocals)
SPB: What do you like to do on a tour off-day?
Joshua: Anything outdoors! I absolutely love to swim or see something new. Best day off I have ever had was at Earthquake Lake in Yellowstone with my band and a fat sack of chronic! GOOD TIMES!
Stacey Dee (Bad Cop/Bad Cop)
SPB: How did you hook up with Fat?
Stacey: I was playing pool with Fat Mike after a Loved Ones show that my old band opened for.  We were at the Eagle in San Francisco.  I made him a bet and if I won he was to write a song I got to sing on.  He was kicking my ass and about to knock in the 8 Ball.  I leaned over and whispered "big beautiful titties" in his ear.  He scratched on the 8 Ball and I won!  
Mike doesn't welch on bets.  He was writing the Home Street Home musical and called me in to try out for it.  I sang with everything I had and secured the roll of Sue.  I spent the next 5 years working on the musical.  During a studio session we discussed how there wasn't any women representing the label.  He and Soma discussed putting out a 7" of Bad Cop / Bad Cop.  But, he wanted to see us first.  They came to our show, which was with the most fab drag queens in SF and they loved it.  When I got off stage he said he was gonna put out that 7".  The next day I got a call saying we were getting signed to Fat.  It was my life's dream!  

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Cheryl's most recent blogposts

Paradise Lost @ KOKO

Posted Oct. 11, 2015, 5:26 a.m. by Cheryl

Paradise Lost w/Tribulation and Lucifer October 4th @ KOKO, London Hype surrounding a band is either indicative of said band being incredibly talented and worth your time, or, on the ...

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 ...

Cheryl's bio

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

I also like coffee and film and cats. 

Cheryl's personal URL

Cheryl's SPB contributions

111 reviews 23 features 136 news posts 6 blogposts
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