Cheekface – S.T.O.P. B.E.L.I.E.V.I.N.G.

Cheekface just dropped a track called ‘S.T.O.P.B.E.L.I.E.V.I.N.G.’ The track may just be the most dense account of Greg Katz’s lyricism that we’ve heard so far. No stranger to populating verse with first-person perspectives, Katz’s preferred device of refracting reality through wit and enquiry is on display here, but with a sense of urgency that we’ve not yet heard from the band. The track is also the noisiest example of what Cheekface can do with just three instruments and something like a Jay Reatard approach to the mix.

Katz, who has always followed the adage of writing what he knows, does more of that here – but there’s a sense of deeper layering, and examples of a more private language, which of course makes for a more poetic experience. Don’t sweat though, it’s not the kind of poetry that makes pretense of spontaneity or demands a plinth before presenting itself. This string of lyrics are as self-effacing as they are empowering.

“I may be too fat to be Spider-Man but not to be Body Positive Spider-Man” sounds like the kind of thing that Katz has announced whilst sipping too much juice at a party. Perhaps he made a mental note of the multi-layered effects, and spat ’em our again here, for our pleasure. It’s just the kind of natural poetry / found art that we’ve come to expect from the band, and it’s just the kind of natural poetry that makes Cheekface the least contrived, most compelling noisemakers.

Instrumentally, shit is more disruptive than previous tracks like ‘Glendale‘ or ‘Dry Heat / Nice Town‘.  Post-punk references are less subtle, and here the amps are set explicitly on ‘pogo’. There’s a brittle edge to the fuzzed guitars, and with added tempo a crisper sound stings from the drum kit. The darkness that Cheekface are capable of exploring is hinted at, but it’s held beneath the surface. For all the nuanced terms, and inferred interpretations of Katz’s words, musically Cheekface feel close to smashing things up. But you know, with exuberance and wonder. Kind of.



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