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Album Review

With the lone exception being "Wingtips," Cherry Poppin' Daddies have veered away from their classic or signature big-band swing sound with this record. Of course the horns and catchy choruses are there, but a song such as the groovy "Bust Out" comes across like they're channeling Squirrel Nut Zippers. However, the reggae-meets-flamenco bridge is probably a style they should avoid. Flamenco is a common theme for much of the record, with clunkers such as "Roseanne" dragging this average-at-best record down further. Meanwhile, the band's lead singer Steve Perry tries to change gears with the slinky, creepy "The Mongoose and the Snake" with mixed results at best. The group hit pay dirt with the punchy number "Hi and Lo" and the equally engaging "Hammerblow" which leads into ska territory à la Less Than Jake. There is a light, airy feeling on much of the early material, especially the reggae-saturated "Blood Orange Sun" that sounds a bit forced. A lot of the record lacks punch or oomph, particularly the toe-tapping "Julie Grave" which could be their best attempt at radio-friendly pop. Perhaps the highlight is "Tom the Lion" that has a breezy flow to it. Other than that, Cherry Poppin' Daddies leave the listener with little pop.


Formed: 1989 in Eugene, OR

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Although Cherry Poppin' Daddies became a popular act during the swing revival of the late 1990s, the eight-piece band formed one decade prior in Eugene, Oregon. Vocalist Steve Perry (aka MC Large Drink, a nickname intended to distance Perry from the famous Journey frontman) and bassist Dan Schmid initially crossed paths at the University of Oregon, and a shared interest in punk music convinced the students to leave school and pursue a band. After playing together in the Jazz Greats and St. Huck,...
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Susquehanna, The Cherry Poppin' Daddies
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