Sound — 6
New Zealand band The Checks play bluesy rock. Nothing more, and nothing less. And for a bunch of guys who are just out of their teens their licks are strangely mature. This is the 3rd release from the band, featuring 3 new tracks and 2 re-recorded numbers. The tracks are: 01. Take Me There - strongly reminiscent of AC/DC with stabby power chords and highly energetic chorus. 02. Oh Please - "Well Saturday night didn't go too well/Lost my teeth and felt like hell/Ain't nothing left but my prison cell". Yes, it's a high octane rock track featuring surprisingly boring solo. Which is a shame when the rest of the song is so enjoyable. It just seems cliched. 03. That One On The Right - this track was written when one of the band members was working washing dishes and pondering which one of two attractive girls to go for. Running at 1:49 seconds, this short piece of extremely bluesy swagger is my favourite track of the EP. 04. Should I Lie - another bluesy track with more hooks then a psycho killers basement. However, at 4:09 I feel that this track would have been better if some of the unnecessary fat was trimmed from the musical bones. 05. The Creek (Live) - first song they wrote for a school talent competition. The main rift is short and simple while the singer belts the lyrics out in a similar fashion to the late bon scott. Stylistically the album could be best described as a Rolling Stones-AC/DC hybrid with the short crunchy rifts and bluesy swagger. However, on a couple of tracks I felt that they had included a solo because they felt they should, not because it needed one.
Lyrics — 7
The majority of the lyrics sound like nonsense. However, they do suit the sound of the band. Listening to it, I get the feeling that the singer approaches the lyrics in the same way a guitarist approaches his instrument: with the intention of making something that sounds good rather then something that is technically 100% correct. The singer is OK. His voice suits the music. On the bluesier numbers his tone could easily be compared to Aerosmith's Steven Tyler on tracks like 'I don't Wanna Miss A Thing' and 'Angel'. As I said before, on the more good time rock n roll numbers you can almost hear Bon Scott, although it is not quite as aggressive as that.
Overall Impression — 7
I can happily say I own almost all of their recordings, even though it has meant importing many from New Zealand. And I can honestly say this is not their best work. Which is disappointing as I found This EP more enjoyable then their full blown debut album (Hunting Wales). Looking through their back catalogue I would say this is probably my second favourite release behind their debut single What You Heard. A little more time spent on track selection and mastering and it could have been a classic. Although I may have painted a negative picture in the last paragraph it is an enjoyable sleazy rock EP. It just falls short on the grounds of being a little too clichd and a little too indulgent. Tracks such as 'Oh Please' and 'That One On The Right' still manage to put a smile on my face. If it was stolen I probably wouldn't buy it again. I have it burnt onto the computer, and I don't know if I could be bothered to go through the hassle of getting it imported again.