Adelaide art-rockers Satan’s Cheerleaders are on the brink of unleashing The Mechanical Turk, a brand new five-track EP, and the band is celebrating the release with a launch at The Jade on Fri 21 Sep.
The Cheerleaders have deliberately kept the songs on The Mechanical Turk shorter and simpler than those featured on previous releases but, make no mistake; this disc will still have you reeling in amazement and awe.
From the slightly unnerving introduction to the opening song, TV, until the last strains of the titular instrumental fade into the ether, this EP will have listeners wondering what kind of fertile-yet-somewhat-eccentric imaginations have conspired to produce the five songs on offer.
Once it gets going, TV boasts a smorgasbord of aural treats. Rooted in 1970s boogie and glam rhythms, this song is irresistible. The verses are great, and the soaring chorus might just inspire a nation to dance. Simon Ridley’s guitar soloing is the icing on the sonic cake. Baby, Let’s Roll is a lurching love song (of sorts) that channels Joe’s Garage at times. It’s probably not as easy to dance to as the first number, but these guys have always been champions of out-of-the-ordinary time signatures. The song also features a fabulous vocal performance from special guest Emily Smart (Nakatomi). Right Outta Line continues the quirkiness, and incorporates some great dynamics within the sparser moments of the arrangement. These Poisoned Cats Of Tehran initially sounds like a performance by a ska band that’s run off and joined the circus, before settling into a more Eurasian-flavoured romp. The EP closes with the title track, an instrumental built around a recurring sax refrain while still allowing guitar, bass and especially drums to show their stuff. This is one impressive rhythm section.
All up, The Mechanical Turk is a brilliant example of where Satan’s Cheerleaders are at right now. There’s no fat; each song has been skilfully constructed to allow the maximum musical energy to be expended in the shortest amount of time. The precision is most impressive. It’s very much an in-house product – Ridley, along with fellow band members Jarrad Payne, Jamie Mensforth and Jamie Capatch were not only responsible for making the music; they also carried out all of the engineering, mixing, production and mastering duties.
The musicianship, Ridley’s songwriting and the arrangements are all sublime. The only complaint anyone might have is that the EP isn’t longer – it’s all over far too soon!