Staff Cheryl

Cheryl

Senior Staff Writer

London

Cheryl's last content update – Feb. 5, 2016, 8:59 a.m.

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Cheryl's most recent reviews
Skepticism  - Ordeal album cover

Skepticism

Ordeal, 2015

9.0 / 10

Recording a live album isn’t a new concept, but for Skepticism, who don’t do anything by halves, recording their brand new album completely live, was certainly a new experience. The ...

Locrian - Infinite Dissolution album cover

Locrian

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

Sick/Tired

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

Frog

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 ...

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Cheryl's most recent features
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 ...

Northumbria

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 ...

Rome

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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Cheryl's most recent news stories
1QI: toyGuitar, Crab Legs, Craig Taylor-Broad, Ali Muhareb

Bands 1QI: toyGuitar, Crab Legs, Craig Taylor-Broad, Ali Muhareb

Posted Feb. 5, 2016, 8:59 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 four days each week, typically every Monday-Thursday ...

Jack (toyGuitar)
SPB: What’s the story behind your name?
Jack: There isn't much backstory on this one. I think I stole the idea of the name "toy guitar" from Spike Slawson or Kent Jamieson (NOFX tour manager). I can't remember which of those two had it first. It was either something like Spike was playing in a kids band or Kent and I were gonna start a kids band and so that name was sorta floating around. It was soooo long ago. But yeah, it's got a very not serious ring to it, which I really like.  There were some other names kicked around briefly, but I think everyone kinda liked toyGuitar. The whole one word, upper/lower case thing started shortly after to make it a little more unique, I guess--and it stuck. So, there you have it, the linguistic history of "toyGuitar".   
BJ Moore (Crab Legs)
SPB: What’s the biggest secret about the Fargo scene (unbeknownst to outsiders)? 
BJ: So, that question could be answered numerous ways, but since every member of Crab Legs plays in at least one other band, I focused on the music scene here.
What’s the biggest secret about the Fargo scene?
That a growing, supportive music scene actually exists here would surprise a lot of people. Fortunately it does, and there are some great people, great bands, and a few very supportive venues here.
Besides being known for a stupid movie involving a woodchipper, its drunkenness, or it' college football team, Fargo is home to numerous bands of various genres. There are so many choices: doom (Egypt, Benefactor), pop punk (Crab Legs, High Hopes), melodic hardcore (Baltic to Boardwalk, Bergeron), catchy punk rock (What Kingswood Needs, SuperCruiser), d-beat (Narcissistic Youth, Shit On Top Of Shit), heavy hardcore (Swing Low, Atrocities), or some good ol' grindcore (Gorgatron). There's a great indie scene, a smaller folk scene, and numerous noise projects are popping up.
A lot of the bands that I mentioned spend a lot of time on the road, besides working day jobs, booking shows, and, for some, volunteering at a local all ages venue, the New Direction.
The New Direction hosts numerous touring punk, hardcore, metal, and indie bands of all sizes. The Aquarium bar hosts similar bands, and you can enjoy your music loud with a few beers there. The Red Raven Coffee House hosts a lot of folk, indie, and acoustic acts, as well.
Fargo may not be as big as Minneapolis, and it might be a frozen winter wasteland for far too long each year, but its scene is our little secret that we get to nourish and take great pride in.
Craig Taylor-Broad
SPB: All creative people invest something of themselves into their work, but this seems especially true with regard to your solo work. Do you find it difficult to get into the right mood or mindset to perform these songs either when recording or in a live setting?
Craig: I think in terms of playing my songs live, the hardest thing is keeping a leash on the moment. Even old songs that aren't exactly relevant anymore spark a memory. There have been some intimate gigs where I'm halfway through a song and it's affecting me, and I can see it's affecting the audience also. The hardest thing then is not falling apart in the moment, holding back those tears I can feel burning into my eyes, and finish the set! 
I think the biggest difficultly for me is creating, playing gigs, recording, and not letting the nature of my songs, the emotion of them affect my current mood. The hardest thing isn't so much getting in the right frame of mind to play emotional songs but having the ability to disconnect from them once the performance has past. It's something I've always struggled with, and continue to do so.
Ali Muhareb
SPB: It seems like there's been renewed interest in psychedelic music in recent years.  Have you noticed any differences between the psychedelic scene in the United States and that which you've encountered while touring overseas? 
Ali: I find the question you asked me very interesting! It's got me thinkin' all sorts of thoughts. Nostalgic memories of my travels aside, this question has got me trying to figure out what exactly “psychedelic music” is. It's more than delay and reverb drenched vocals/instrumentation, it's forward thinking yet heavily indebted to tropes and stylistic choices of the past. I'm trying to find out what things cannot qualify as psychedelic(is there such a thing as psychedelic noise? psychedelic new-age?)...
One thing's for certain: it is a movement and it is growing. With psych fests popping up all over from Portland, Oregon to Seattle, Washington, from Austin, Texas to Liverpool, England...it's a huge movement.
One of the better shows I had the pleasure of seeing was in Milan, Italy. I had played a show at this venue called Cox 18 (a wonderful venue inside an anarchist squat) and had such a blast that I decided to stay a few extra days and explore the city. Luckily, La Societa Psychedelica were throwing a second show that month and I got to catch Black Bombaim and The Cosmic Dead a couple nights later. They fucking rocked. What struck me was that, even though these bands were from Portugal and Scotland, they would absolutely destroy on stage in my hometown and many others in the US. Same experience I had when I played with Mary and The Hookers (split, some members now go by Dead Vibrations) that their understanding of psychedelic music was very similar to ours. I guess this shouldn't have been a shock - psychedelic music first emerged in the US, so it makes sense that it's all got a unified sound...
That is a terribly long answer to the question, here's a TL;DR
I did not really notice a big difference between the psychedelic scene I've encountered in the US and those that I encountered overseas. It's a cool, inclusive, international movement and it's bringing people together from all sorts of backgrounds and I can only hope that it becomes more inclusive.
But then again, what is “psychedelic” music? I'm not sure I know, but psych fests always have the coolest show flyers.
 

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1QI: Humans, Grade, Flannel Gurl Records, Dear Boy

Bands 1QI: Humans, Grade, Flannel Gurl Records, Dear Boy

Posted Jan. 26, 2016, 3:05 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 ...

Robbie (Humans)
SPB: How does being in a band compare to being a forest fire fighter?
Robbie: Being in a band is somewhat similar to being a fire fighter.
Reason #1: In both jobs you have to carry lots of awkward things in awkward places. Firefighting wins out on this though, as the things are more awkward, as are the places you carry them. For instance: 
"Robbie, please take this massive helicopter net that is very tangled through that swamp and beyond into the 6-foot high thorn bush and wait for further instructions." 
"Yes Sir!"
25 minutes and 165 wounds on forearms and face later.
"Is this far enough?"
"No. take it even further."
Reason #2: You feel like a rock star when entering a new town. Again, firefighters win on this account as well though, because when you're entering the town, instead of 1 very tired friend with you, you have 20 chest thumping men and women who are burly and sexy and you all take over a bar and hotel for 3 days of "rest" from the fireline. It is here that you try and meet girls, end up getting in fights, eat hot food, make friends with the local coffee shop and usually end up helping the locals move, or painting a house or something. ROCK STAR STATUS
Kyle Bishop (Grade)
SPB: Who is your favorite 1970s artist?
Kyle: Black Sabbath
Jonathan Ashwell (Flannel Gurl Records)
SPB: What is your favorite record store? How did you discover it?
Jonathan: Like coffee shops where ever we go, we try to visit any and all independent record stores when visiting a city we have never been before. We try and treat any visit to any record store as something that is particularly special and should never be taken for granted. We have only visited Graveface Records and Curiosities in Savannah, GA once. This visit to Graveface was special to us because our friend and famous graphic artist, Ryan "The Hornet" McCardle, worked there. We typically only get to see our friend about every 6 months and while we were on our way home from Fest 11, we asked Ryan if he would be working that day and he said yes, hence why we stopped by. (If he wasn't working I doubt we would have stopped by because it was about an hour out of our way from our destination, which was home.) The record selection was vast and the curiosities were just neat. We got to hold a copy of Boys Don't Cry by The Cure on vinyl and we both cried a bit, Kimmi more so. It wasn't for sale, but it is still neat to hold artifacts. Also, right around this time Black Moth Super Rainbow just self released Cobra Juicyfollowing a super successful Kickstarter campaign and they made those masks to promote the album. One of the masks were there that day and we happened to come by it and I kept pestering Ryan that we were going to put it on and wear it around the shop. We always tell our friends who are going to be driving through Savannah, GA to stop by this shop because it is special and one of a kind.
Ben Grey (Dear Boy)
SPB: What is your favorite TV theme song?
Ben: I'm afraid you've touched on a bit of a nerve because I love TV theme songs. I will give you three.
* Twin Peaks & Angelo Badalamenti -  Too much has been written about this piece of music, so I'm just going to go ahead and spare you. But I will say that it's just insane how something can set a tone for a show that has such inarticulate tone. It's perfect and I'm sure this is the first you're hearing of that.
* Friends & The Rembrandts - This song is so ubiquitous that you don't really even realize how rad it is. Sounds like The Housemartins meets The Soup Dragons meets The Hoodoo Gurus and it totally works on its own. It's so classic that you can't even listen to it.
* Perfect Strangers & Jesse Frederick / Bennett Salvay - I don't want anybody to think I had these names at the ready. Looked it up. Glad I did. This track is so under appreciated. It's legitimately triumphant and crazy well composed. I love it. Unapologetically had it on my Winamp in jr. high. The only tune that is soaring enough to hype you up for Balki.
 

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1QI: Storm Ross, Not Half Bad, Earthside, MC Lars

Bands 1QI: Storm Ross, Not Half Bad, Earthside, MC Lars

Posted Jan. 13, 2016, 2:19 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 ...

Storm Ross
SPB: As a multi-instrumentalist, what is your composition process for a song and/or record?
Storm Ross: While I don't have a set formula per se, I do seem to follow some familiar patterns when writing. Most of my compositions for the past number of years have a drone or repetitive phrase as the bed of the piece, and that drone/phrase is usually written first and spontaneously. From there, I will work to write either complementary parts to the phrase or the main melody, depending on where the inspiration is. The former usually comes fairly quickly. The melody almost always comes in chunks: 30 seconds here, a minute there, until it feels like it has reached a natural conclusion.    
Once the melody is established, the process usually becomes less intuitive and more deliberate. At this point I usually know what the composition is about, so I'll go over the melody again to cut out unnecessary parts or emphasize something I particularly like in order to better tell the story (it's all about telling stories). I work on the piece to the point where I am comfortable playing it live by myself, then hand it off to other musicians to augment it for recording. Sometimes I have a particular feel I want them to follow. Usually, though, I let them come up with their own parts; from my experience, the final product is almost always served better by soliciting true collaboration.
I definitely write with a focus on albums, ensuring that things hang together thematically. I might be really excited about a particular composition, but if it doesn't fit naturally with an album I am working on it will be set aside for a later date, or no date at all. Again, it's all about telling stories.            
Matt Scifres (Not Half Bad)
SPB: What do you think of cassettes?Matt: Cassettes (often called “tapes” by young people, these days) are really cool because they’re kind of eternally rooted in DIY. Pressing records makes exactly zero sense for smaller bands. Yeah, they’re cool, but they’re ridiculously expensive, take forever to press and are a general pain in the ass. Making tapes, on the other hand, is stupid easy, because all you need is a tape player. Well, all you need is a tape player with a record button and some tapes. Some folks would argue that Punk/DIY/Whatever is at its purest when it’s cheap and made by the people trying to make you spend five bucks on it. A lot of the time, tapes are going to be the only thing on a merch table that meets that criteria and that’s kind of cool. I’ve only copied a couple tapes in my life and neither of them were for bands I was in, so throw my credentials out the window, but it’s pretty remarkable that in an age where most music comes from bandcamp or some streaming site, that a physical format can be alive and well based on a niche community doing the same things it’s been doing since forever. I’m not a purist. No, you don’t have to Do It Yourself. CDs are about the same price, sell for more and they take care of all the dirty bits at the plant, but I can’t help but be charmed when I’m buying merch and someone in the band says “Yeah, we made this tape/shirt/whatever.” I’ll take that tape. Here’s my money, dude. Unless you’ve got a record, then I’ll take the record.- Written by Matt Scifres, edited and made coherent by Alex Weymier
Jamie van Dyck (Earthside – guitar, composer)
SPB: What is your favorite book about music?"Jamie: My favorite book about music that I've read is The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century by Alex Ross. I actually read this for a university music history class on western "Art" music in the 19th and 20th centuries (basically Beethoven until today). I enjoyed how Ross gave an accessible narrative arc to an often intentionally arcane topic and a playful bent to a music world that often takes itself far too seriously with an air of elitism. A lot of the music from this era is truly magnificent and beautiful once its principle players are humanized rather than deified, and Ross's style invited this young college rock musician to confidently enter a world in which he often felt unwelcome.Extra fun fact, Frank's and my (Jamie's) middle school band was called Point Blank
MC Lars
SPB: What is the “ET/Atari” of NES games?
MC Lars: I would say a Boy and His Blob is the ET of Nintendo. It’s well-conceived, but difficult to play if you don’t know the “hacks” to get ahead. The world is very elaborate, but easy to get stuck, just like in the ET game. I remember all of my friends getting frustrated with it. Also for bonus similarities, the game is also about a boy and an extraterrestrial friend, so it’s thematically similar!
 

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1QI: Skittish, QUOR, Moñecho, Livstid

Bands 1QI: Skittish, QUOR, Moñecho, Livstid

Posted Dec. 3, 2015, 2:38 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 ...

Jeff Noller (Skittish)
SPB: How has the increasing digitalization of the music industry changed how you listen to music?
Jeff: I feel like I hear a lot less “deep cuts.” I used to be limited to only the CDs I brought with me on a trip, thus propelling me into the depths of an album rarely explored. Which led to a lot of songs that I ended up liking more than the main hits. It was also nice to rip open a package and lay on the floor perusing through the booklet artwork as the album plays. All of this gave me more of a connection to the artist. Now I've traded connection for convenience. Which, I suppose, can be applied to many things in this digital age. 
Brian Corn (QUOR)
SPB: Is there a regional food you look forward to on every tour?
Brian: The Pacific Northwest always has fantastic salmon. I particularly like the sashimi versions offered throughout the region. I have had amazing cuts of salmon in even the most unlikely of places up there between Portland and Vancouver, BC; everywhere from casino cafeterias to straight-up grocery store deli’s.
Matt (Moñecho)
SPB: What’s the best movie you’ve seen this year?
Matt: Coherence.  No other movie I've seen really communicates an almost paralyzing amount of uncertainty.
Øyvind (Livstid – guitar)
SPB: If you had your choice, which band would you love to tour with? 
Øyvind: A tour with Livstid and Icon of Evil would be a truly sick affair. They serve their slabs of death in the vein of Bolt Thrower. And if you got a grindcore band as well, Death Toll 80k for instance, then you'd have the perfect bill; ripping Norwegian d-beat punk in unholy union with crusty Polish death metal and Finnish grindcore devastation in the brutal style. What a fucking riot it'd be!

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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

http://twitter.com/Cheryl_Prime

Cheryl's SPB contributions

107 reviews 23 features 125 news posts 6 blogposts
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