Cheepskates - It Wings Above (1988) 1989 Music Maniac (Flac)
Led by singer/guitarist Shane Faubert, the Cheepskates were a big part
of the '80s revival of the garage rock scene on the East Coast. They
released two albums with their first lineup, a four-piece that
concentrated more on the retro side of the sound. By 1987, Faubert was
ready for a new direction and scaled the band down to a three piece for
the power pop releases Remember and It Wings Above.
After a live album
and a covers EP, they returned to the studio for one last time. The
result, 1990's Confessional, was disappointing to listeners and the band
alike, leading to the eventual dissolving of the group. A post-breakup
album of Residents' songs found its way onto shelves in 1992, while
Faubert continued in the same musical vein on his solo material.
The Cheepskates' fourth album is rooted in some of the same 1960s rock
that informed their early work, but also has a somewhat more modern
power pop and alt-rock sensibility. One of the chief traits
distinguishing this from other retro-sounding groups is the light and
winsome tonality of Shane Faubert's
lead vocals, which contrasts heavily with the generic snot-brat garage
attitude many revivalist-style combos adopt. There's a little bit of a
surf thrust to the tempo and percussive drive of some of the tunes,
which are generally airy and peppy love tunes. It's not a major
accomplishment, but it's fairly pleasant pop-rock that's neither insipid
nor crude. The CD version includes an extra track, the "electric
version" of "Everytime You Change Your Mind."
Shane Faubert is a culpable underrated musician of the last 30 years in pop music. This album is in my opinion the best of the Cheepskates.