Now here's something I can throw my hat behind! Cheap Girls play the kind of earnest, heart-felt, mid-Western rock n roll that The Hold Steady do and the Replacements did so well. Lead singer Ian Graham has an easy-going, rather rough way with melody that definitely recalls Westerberg and the songs deal with some very familiar themes: growing up, growing old, finding and losing love, finding and losing yourself. This is no frills rock that can get a little punky (again, think Replacements, not Minor Threat) but generally settles into a nice, reflective mid-tempo. Their most recent album, "Giant Orange," was produced by Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace back when she was Tom Gabel and there are certainly a few stylistic parallels to AM!, although Cheap Girls tend to stay away from the kind of overtly political, topical songs that AM! traffic in.
I'm actually a little surprised to see Cheap Girls on the Black Stage: they definitely seem like an Orange band to these discerning ears. Regardless, I'll definitely be clearing some time on my schedule to drink a beer and reminisce along with these guys about the glory days of rock and youth. Definitely a highlight of the schedule for me.