Eggs Over Easy, the American band that invented pub rock, influenced the careers of Nick Lowe, Huey Lewis, Loudon Wainwright III and Elvis Costello, and laid the groundwork for a grass roots movement that would spawn UK punk, is finally getting its due with a deluxe 3xLP/2xCD set.
Cheap Trick is an American rock band from Rockford, Illinois, formed in 1974. The band currently consists of vocalist Robin Zander, guitarist Rick Nielsen, bassist Tom Petersson, and touring drummer Daxx Nielsen. Original drummer Bun E. Carlos stopped touring with the band in 2010 but remains a partner in their business organization…
Cheap Trick's eponymous debut is an explosive fusion of Beatlesque melodic hooks, Who-styled power, and a twisted sense of humor partially borrowed from the Move. But that only begins to scratch the surface of what makes Cheap Trick a dynamic record. Guitarist Rick Nielsen has a powerful sense of dynamics and arrangements, which gives the music an extra kick, but he also can write exceptionally melodic and subversive songs. Nothing on Cheap Trick is quite what it seems. While the songs have hooks and attitude that arena rock was sorely lacking in the late '70s, they are also informed by a bizarre sensibility, whether it's the driving "He's a Whore," the dreamy "Mandocello," or the thumping Gary Glitter perversion "ELO Kiddies."
While their records were entertaining and full of skillful pop, it wasn't until At Budokan that Cheap Trick's vision truly gelled. Many of these songs, like "I Want You to Want Me" and "Big Eyes," were pleasant in their original form, but seemed more like sketches compared to the roaring versions on this album. With their ear-shatteringly loud guitars and sweet melodies, Cheap Trick unwittingly paved the way for much of the hard rock of the next decade, as well as a surprising amount of alternative rock of the 1990s, and it was At Budokan that captured the band in all of its power.
More than a year after her breakout hit “1950,” King Princess delivers Cheap Queen, her soulful and reflective debut album. Balancing husky, vintage-sounding vocals with subtle flourishes (a vibraphone here, a chiming synth there), the project loosely traces a young relationship’s hopeful beginning and wounded end. Throughout, we get to see the emerging queer-pop icon, a 20-year-old Brooklyn native named Mikaela Straus, evolve: Meandering mind games (“Useless Phrases”) and self-deprecations (“Cheap Queen”) become earnest observations ("Watching My Phone") and confident tell-offs (“You Destroyed My Heart”). The final number—a breathtaking, pensive ballad that unfolds delicately—feels fragile and guarded: “And it might take a sec/My world’s become a mess/I’m second-guessing all the things I used to want to be,” she sings, a bit more measured than she was at the start.