Reviews Chokecherry The Future Was a Long Time Ago

Chokecherry

The Future Was a Long Time Ago

Expect adjectives. Adjectives and hyphens. For, you see, Chokecherry are a punk band that doesn’t play punk songs. I guess folk-punk is the subgenre tag du jour, but that term steers in the wrong direction in many ways. As does country-punk, though it’s far more apt. Chokecherry play country songs run through a DIY punk filter, influenced by a lifestyle embracing basement shows and independence, doused in twang and sing-alongs. It’s a country version of Plan-It-X punk.

The Minneapolis band released In the Wine Press in 2008, broke up, and reunited to eventually release this sophomore album, The Future Was a Long Time Ago. The record continues where they left off 6-ish years ago, but there is a strong punk lean in song structures and the group and backing vocals.

Jon Collins’ voice remains the heart of Chokecherry, delivered in a Hank Williams twang that wavers near being overdone, occasionally missing a key in swing of things, which is admittedly a big piece of the band’s charm because it increases the vulnerability that is always at the core of a good country song. The tempo is middling, with more upbeat songs than ballads, and there is a penchant to include background shouts, hollers, and occasionally a big chorus. One point where outer influence over cedes the country is “Good Times (Are Over),” which has a bit of a Replacements-esque pop, and also in “Downtown Dogs,” where Pamela Laizure’s vocals jump in counter-melody and creates a distraction. Chokecherry aren’t perfect, nor do they mean to be. This is influenced by lo-fi punk and there’s no Autotune at play.

The standouts on the record include title track “The Future Was a Long Time Ago” and “Spent Your Best Years,” the latter of which is twangy and downhome, but upbeat and with an off-kilter charm. The vocals are a mixture of Collins’ lead, but with some trade-offs and harmonies at the chorus and it’s concise at 3:14. The songs are political in nature, but told through a filtered first-person that’s more introspective than preachy. It’s all topped off with some well-placed violin, an instrument that I’m something of a sucker for.

7.3 / 10Loren
Advertisement
Radio K 2
Leave a comment

7.3 / 10

7.3 / 10

Share this content
Advertisement
Radio K 2
Recent reviews

Converge

Beautiful Ruin

8.0 / 10 Converge - Beautiful Ruin album cover

Converge—Nietzsche’s pissed off nephew, Rilke’s furious friend—achieves a glimmering consummation in a mishmash of fourness (which, in numerology, symbolizes spiritual wholeness). They went from thrash titans to sonic gods; now ...

Northwoods

Wasteland

7.8 / 10 Northwoods - Wasteland  album cover

'[T]here the nightingale filled all the desert with inviolable voice and still she cried, and still the world pursues, "Jug Jug" to dirty ears.' And likewise, with dirty ears, the ...

The Bils

Past Masters: Volume 1

6.5 / 10 The Bils - Past Masters: Volume 1 album cover

The Bils are Bil and Michelle Bilson, a husband-wife duo that play laid back rock schooled by classic duets. Depending which paragraph of their press sheet you’re reading, they are ...

Related news

Bands 1QI: Roses, Reckless Records, Chokecherry, Monkey

Posted June 4, 2015, 2:05 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 ...

x

Logo

Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.