Album Review: Cha-Cha – We Are…

By on Tuesday, 6th April 2010 at 12:00 pm

The beach umbrella on the cover of TGTF favorite Cha-Cha‘s debut album, ‘We Are…,’ pretty much says it all: this is an album for the summer. For me, at least, the winter is a time for heavier, more brooding music. But when it starts to warm up a bit, all I want is a bit of fun, and that is exactly what this album provides.

The London trio, while intentionally remaining under the radar, spent the last year together writing and recording their debut album, which they completed in November. Due for release in May 2010 on newly-minted Pop Noodle Records, the album is full of pop gems that will get you out on the dance floor.

Not only is this album perfect for the summer, but looking at it as a whole, it reminds me of the perfect summer’s day. The guitar riff that opens the album is like the first rays of the sun coming out, and the middle of the album feels like one massive beach party. The last few slower-tempo songs are akin to relaxing around a bonfire on the beach after a long day in the sun has tired you out. Lead vocalist Blain McGuigan explains, “There’s something about summer and great music that just fit perfectly together. All three of us love albums that remind us of sunny garden-barbeques, lazy park days and roadtrips to the beach.– we were all keen to bring some really upbeat Summery vibes into our writing for this album, so that our fans could have a similar type of association during their summers, too.”

The album opens with their first single, the dance floor filler ‘Phonographic Love,’ which draws you in with its slow, reverb-y intro, before diving headfirst into their signature funky pop. Second single ‘The Fellowship‘ follows shortly after, but really, almost any of the songs on ‘We Are…’ could be singles. Stomper ‘Cherokee’ has a killer riff and a hook that’ll have you singing along: “I said COME ON! / Yeah, you know that she’s on / Don’t be a sucker for her charm.” The breakdown in the song is also a lot of fun. With falsetto  “oohs” and a refrain of  “this isn’t what you wanted,” it slowly builds up to a massive, thrashing ending.

Although I didn’t love on my first listen, the slower and less funky ‘Bring You Down’ grew on me the more I listened. It’s low-fi and simple, and shows that the band is capable of more than just one thing. At a mere minute and a half, you could almost call it an interlude, and it allows the next mid-tempo track, ‘Seventies Casualty,’ to stand out even more in comparison. ‘Seventies Casualty’ is a more traditional-sounding pop song that showcases lead singer and bassist Blain McGuigan’s powerful voice, the guitar-playing of Alex Cameron Ward and the drumming of Samuel Garbutt. It’s a little slower than other tracks, but it’s still very catchy, and you’ll find yourself singing the refrain ‘you’re no 1970’s casualty’ in no time.  One of my personal favorites, the last of the up-tempo songs, ‘Juicy Lucy,’ has a  rougher guitar tone and a rougher overall sound than other songs, and is likely to cause spontaneous jumping about and hair-tossing.

As if the sun is beginning to set, the album slows down a bit at this point, but remains just as enjoyable with songs like ‘Second Chances,’ ‘Windows’ and ‘Flashlight,’ which contains my favorite line:  “I said ‘the beat is on fire’ / She’s such a sexy little liar.” With an album as good as this and a nationwide tour currently being planned, they’re sure to capture a lot of hearts this year. And with rumoured big support slots on the way, 2010 just may be the year of Cha-Cha.

‘We Are…’ is due for release on 10th May 2010, but if you pre-order a copy before 9th April 2010, it will arrive in the post by 17th April, nearly 3 weeks before its official release.  Head over to their label’s website for a free download of ‘The Fellowship.’

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[…] May 2010 at 12:00 pm TGTF favourite Cha-Cha‘s debut album, ‘We Are…’ (read our review here) was released yesterday, and we were lucky enough to get their guitarist, Alex, to answer a few of […]

[…] on Wednesday, 12th May 2010 at 10:00 am Following on from Mary Beth’s fine Cha-Cha album review and interview, we’ve been given the all clear from their people to give you a four track […]

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

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