Cheap Time – Wallpaper Music (In The Red)
By Scott Creney
Cheap Time comes across like a snottier, more New York Dollsy type of Roxy Music. It’s good trashy fun wrapped up in half-hearted sneers and mannerisms.
The music is every bit as disposable as that Billy Idol curling of his lip. But I’m disposable and so are you, so why not listen to music made by your equals? Like you never spent time looking in the mirror and perfecting your look? Listen, you can listen to music by your so-called ‘superiors’ if that’s what you’re into. Get down on your knees and grovel before the artist. But that hero-worship stuff is all a crock of shit. Who can relate to a genius? But goddamn it I can relate to Cheap Time. They’re every bit as frustrated and unoriginal as I am.
But they know how to rock. There’s this moment in opener ‘More Cigarettes’ (you laugh at the title, and then you groan), in its second and third verses, where the guitar does this slide up the neck that sounds like an engine revving. It’s fucking brilliant. Abba would have swooned at the popcraft. I can’t get the soundcloud file to embed so just click the link.
Moments like these are infrequent on Wallpaper Music, but they exist. In 2012, this constitutes a triumph. The last song, ‘Underneath The Fruit Flies’, locks into a groove so fierce in its Neu Wave precision that the singer burns through all the bad jokes, the second-hand shuffles and shrugs, and blows your face off. It’s 7 ½ minutes long and you need to hear it right this second.
Sadly, finding Cheap Time videos and songs to post if harder than it should be. Maybe they’re lazy. They’re definitely bored. Or maybe they just know that you wouldn’t understand it anyway, and even if you did, it’d just be one more hassle they’d have to fucking deal with. But that’s the key to their charm; it’s what makes them special. Cheap Time finds meaning in the garbage, profundity in the gutter. Every childhood is a whorehouse. There’s an elephant in the room, and that elephant needs to have its back shaved. The beautiful people are ugly too. Everyone mistakes the insects for stars, and throw their backs out prostrating themselves before the gnats. So like, what’s the fucking point and who gives a fuck, and why even bother?
Wallpaper Music is the sound of someone answering those questions and hating what’s coming out of their mouths. It’s also the most fun I’ve had listening to a record in ages. It doesn’t have a sincere bone in its body, but then neither do I. We’re perfect for each other. We don’t care about anything.