TwoTorture Chamber Records
By Steven Farkas
For a band that was supposed to be nothing more than a one time thing to support punk rock icon Dan Vapid blast through his 20 year career on stage in Chicago back in 2011, Dan Vapid & The Cheatsaren’t doing too badly these days. Their second full length, appropriately titled Two, is out now via the band’s own Torture Chamber Records and for someone who has been in many well loved punk bands over his career (Screeching Weasel, The Methadones, Riverdales, The Queers) its no huge surprise that the sound of his current band incorporates elements from all of these.
At 12 tracks and 25 minutes, there is no doubt that Two is a straight up punk rock record featuring vocal harmonies and hooks aplenty, all played with a sense of purpose. I’m a Contrarian, Live it Down and Panic In The Streets follow a well trodden punk rock path – fast paced, driving guitars and shout-a-long choruses, while still managing to sound fresh and new. I Wanna Go To Machu Pichu Before I Die and Miracle Drug show off the band’s lighter side and willingness to not take themselves too seriously. Cold And Rainy Days is a highlight, by far the stand out song on the record. The harmonies here are particularly impressive, and Dan delivers an outstanding vocal. It’s reminiscent of Don’t Back Down-era Queers, with a modern punk rock twist.
Overall Dan Vapid & The Cheats show no signs of suffering from the dreaded “second album syndrome”as Two is a must own for new and old fans alike.