Advertisement

Album Review: The Cherry Tops — <3 <3 <3


The Cherry Tops

<3 <3 <3
www.thecherrytops.bandcamp.com

Mission Creek Festival: Community Day Underground Showcase w/ the Spider Magnets, Cherry Tops, the Backlund, Contentious, Teenage Bigfoot, Black Belt Eagle Scout, Closet Witch

Gabe’s — Saturday, April 7 at 1 p.m.

The Cherry Tops, on their debut disc, <3 <3 <3, which dropped last year, have a delightfully unapologetic early ’60s vibe, fast and funny and full of joy. The seasalt lyrics (antagonistic in the sweetest way possible) are delightfully disarming; “I like my music loud/I like my hair a little long./Is that so wrong?” is the conceit of album opener “Eighty.” No one could accuse this band of being highbrow, but why would they want to be, when there’s a world of froth from half a century ago that’s been lying dormant for too long?

Singer Kyle Anthony is the glue that connects this ’60s throwback to the modern era. With echoes of Spike Slawson’s Me First and the Gimme Gimme’s tonality, Anthony nevertheless manages absolute sincerity. He’s got sass in his voice, no doubt — but he’s never tongue-in-cheek. The album closer, a cover of the tune “Let’s Twist Again” (a hit for Chuck Berry in 1961), is delivered with loving reverence.

The fast-paced album’s strongest moments are track four, “Game Show Geek,” and track five, “What’s Up.” “Game Show Geek,” one of the longer tracks (coming in at a whole 1:24) dances around with clever lyrics and references (“I’ll be yours tonight/if the price is right”) and offers some of the more interesting of the deliberately simple musical settings. “What’s Up” (at 1:48, the longest offering) is timeless. It could just as easily have been written in 1960 as in 2017, and it’s utterly serious and sweet.

This is a cotton candy record in flavor and weight, but it’s not the least bit saccharine. It’s cotton candy you can keep enjoying for as long as you’d like, without a hint of a stomach ache. The musicians are having pure fun and bringing the listener along with them. “I like to stay up late/I like to make up stupid songs,” sings Anthony on “Eighty.” “Is that so wrong?”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

40 Years Forward:

A Celebration of Empowerment & Hope

Deb Talan of "The Weepies" will begin our night of celebration with a story of survival, empowerment, and hope told through words and song. Join us in remembering our past and envisioning the future at the Coralville Mariott.

GET TICKETS

Friday, September 20 at 7:30 p.m.

For 18 years...

Little Village has been telling the truth and changing our little corner of the world.

If you can, help us head into the next 18 years even stronger with a one-time or monthly contribution of $18, or any amount you choose.

Advertisement

A collaboration between The Englert Theatre and FilmScene

STRENGTHEN
GROW•EVOLVE

Help us build the greatest small city for the arts in America—right here in Iowa City. Learn more »

Donate Today

Strengthen • Grow • Evolve is a collaborative campaign led by two Iowa City-based arts nonprofits, The Englert Theatre and FilmScene that seeks a major reinvestment to strengthen the arts through modern and historic venues, innovative programming, and new models of collaboration.

Little Village's
BEST OF THE CRANDIC

From Aug. 1-Sept. 30, cast your vote for your favorite places, people, eats and entertainment around the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City area.

Don't forget to explain your picks! The best answers will be published in LV's Best of the CRANDIC issue, out Dec. 3, 2019.