Oh, Danny Vapid. The guy has a hell of a track record. I have spent so much time listening to Screeching Weasel, The Riverdales, The Mopes, and The Methadones in the last god knows how many years. So, compared to a ridiculously great back catalog, how is this new shit? It is pretty good.
Dan Vapid And The Cheats is basically power pop / pop punk. As far as the line up goes, It is basically The Methadones. Vapid, Mike Byrne, and Mike Soucy are there. The only difference is that bassist Pete Mittler has been replaced by Simon Lamb (who was in Screeching Weasel for a second or two). That being said, it basically sounds like The Methadones. Well, The Methadones taking their love of power pop to the next level.
For being so simplistic, this record is kind of all over the place. The opener, “Torture Chamber,” has a pretty serious Cheap Trick meets Ramones vibe. “Girl Group” has a 50’s doo wop thing going on. The back up vocals are fucking great on that track. “Die Trying” and “Just Like Cleopatra” are straight up pop punk burners. Basically, the whole record, save for “Devo On Speed,” could have been on a release for any of Vapid’s prior bands. Some songs are right out of The Riverdales songbook, some are more The Mopes. The lion’s share is very much The Methadones.
Really, this is a Dan Vapid band that sounds like what a typical Dan Vapid band would sound like. If you like any of his other bands, this certainly won’t disappoint. Great pop punk written by a guy who has done more for that genre than damn near anyone else.
(NOTE: Normally I link to the label who put this out. This is put out by Torture Chamber. I can’t find anything resembling a website for it. Sorry.)