The Cheats, Iron City lifers, and veteran torchbearers of the global punk rock n’ roll world return with their fourth LP after a six-year album gap, Cussin’ Crying n’ Carrying On. These guys have been hell riding it for 19 years, and like Slayer, they haven’t changed their sound and don’t need to for anyone. Each release The Cheats pump out carries a distinct feeling and feature going back from the Cheap Pills debut to this one with the takeaway here being singer and ring leader Todd Porter mixes some singing in here to compliment his burly, abrasive snarl. If this is your first time getting hip to them, here’s what you need to know: Their sound ranges from the sleaze n’ grind glam that Michael Monroe built a career out of mixed with the ripping heaviness of Dregen-era Hellacopters. Does this mean they’re a band gunning for a past sound? Not at all, they know what sounds good and works for them and their audience, it’s that simple. This is balls out rock n’roll, the kind that defines who Porter and crew are and have been all through the years. The Cheats persevere while others faded out.
Cussin’ Crying n’ Carrying On also sparks a new era in The Cheats universe with the addition of guitarists Rob Senamore & Devin Holiday to the fold, which makes their makeup represent s three solid rock n’ roll towns with Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Atlanta now in the ranks. The album nods the classic sound The Cheats have stormed through listeners three albums deep prior but steps it up a notch on this one. There’s something for every heavy rock fan on this record. Choice cuts include the single “It’s Alright” with its Ramones influenced hard harmonies, fist-pumping chorus, and warped lyrics about the unspoken side of family life in America. The melodic pub rocker “Got Lucky” is next up on standout tracks with its upbeat tempo and the chainsaw riffs from Holiday & Senamore. The lyrics construed on “Too Much Too Soon” are things every woman should avoid due to the consequences of hard living and acting the fool. It needs noting, “Hella 69” is the left-field track off the record with all the minor chords and the low key feel it carries when stacked against the other songs on the album. All in all, Cussin’ Crying n’ Carrying On is a solid run from front to back.
The Cheats are a Pittsburgh institution; they’re just as crucial to the city’s heritage as a Primanti Brothers sandwich, a bridge, and Bill Cowher’s chin are. These four dudes represent the essence of rock n’ roll in its sincerest form, now you know and tell your friends. Up the (Turbojugend) Iron City!
Order Cussin’, Crying n’ Carrying On from the Screaming Crow Records shop.