Bronx Cheerleader
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Bronx Cheerleader

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The best kept secret in music

Press


"Popmatters.com"

Bronx Cheerleader
Tough Guy Clichés
(Yummy Recordings)

Other than war, no milieu brings out male fallibility more than organized crime. Yet, Americans harbor a nostalgia for the relative certitude of the glory days of gangland; how else can you explain Al Capone's northwoods hideout as a tourist attraction complete with caricatured t-shirts that read, "Justice -- Chicago Style"? Cleverly, ex-Pope Factory man Scott Warren uses the push and pull between these two ideas as the loose underpinning for Tough Guy Clichés. His lyrics are smart but never cutesy or deliberately shocking. A song title like "Our Grudges Have Handles" sums up his approach pretty well. The music, played by Warren and several ex-Pope Factory and Palooka members, belies the subject matter. Mostly acoustic, gauzy, and navel-gazing, at times it's barely there; Warren's voice literally floats by. A little more lo-fi than necessary, but still devastating on tracks like "Hollywood Ending". Some of the better CD packaging you'll ever see, too. - Review by John Bergstrom


"Fox TV To Use Bronx Cheerleader Song"

Bronx Cheerleader's song "Racing Time" is slated to be featured on "Desire", a new syndicated series starting this fall. Indications are that the song, written as a tribute to the late Elliott Smith, will be used during a montage sequence with no dialogue.
Desire is a telenovela set to debut at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on September 5, 2006, on the new American television network My Network TV. It is produced by Fox Television Studios.
The program stars Michelle Belegrin, Nate Haden, and Zack Silva. Haden and Silva play two brothers on the run from the Mafia. The show chronicles the two on their journey from New Jersey to Los Angeles. Along the way, they find themselves in a heated battle of passion, betrayal, deceit and murder over the woman they both love (played by Belegrin). More details to come.
- www.bronxcheerleader.com


"PULSE Niagara's Weekly Alternative"

Sitting in on a Bronx Cheerleader rehearsal on a Friday evening was pretty surreal. The walk to Yummy Recordings’ A–Frame studios was quite brisk, but as soon as I came within striking distance of the band’s practice space, I could make out the warm sounds coming from the attic and the chill in my bones was instantly gone. As the band played, it was remarkable to be able hear all of the album’s nuances re–enacted live. The cymbal crashes, the maracas shaking, the bells jangling, the bass guitar dancing, the mandolin twinkling, the acoustic guitar plucking, the electric guitar humming and Scott Warren’s beautiful and thoughtful vocals could all be felt and heard. There were no sounds that were struggling for notice; it seemed as if the instruments are all old friends caught up in conversation.

“Bronx Cheerleader began around a campfire near Picton, Ontario, in the summer of 2003,” recalls Warren, songwriter and frontman of Bronx Cheerleader. “One night [I was] around the campfire with some friends and there was an acoustic guitar kicking around. I was badgered until I picked it up and played something. I instantly realized how much I missed playing and performing, that’s how I got back into it after not picking up a guitar for almost two years. All of a sudden the songs just starting coming.”

That was the first time Warren had performed in front of an audience since his days in Pope Factory. His original band was created in his parent’s garage in the mid–’90s in Welland.“The band relocated to Toronto in 1995 and Sauder (Bronx’s drummer) was kicked out of the band in 1998 for liking the Tragically Hip too much. We released an EP and a full–length CD, got some good press and played CMJ in New York City in 1999,” explains Warren.

“Everything kind of fell apart when we hit the road for a U.S. tour in 2001. On the morning of September 11, we were en route to NYC to play at the CMJ festival again. This showcase was the linchpin of the tour and was to be the launch pad for our campaign of global domination. But the terrorists wouldn’t have it. In the aftermath of 9/11, the bookings dried up – no one was going out to see Canadian indie rock bands anymore. Everyone was staying at home, glued to the TV to see what kind of madness was going to unfold next. So, I guess you could say that the terrorists killed Pope Factory.”

From there, Warren sat down with Joe Lapinski and brought him some rough bedroom recordings. “He worked his magical production skills until we had something that was releaseable. Basically, Joe polished a lot of audio turds,” laughs Warren. “Joe basically saved Tough Guy Cliches."

The album was released at the end of 2005 and has been spinning in CD players non–stop all across Canada. CBC Radio One’s Amanda Putz, named the album one of her “Best Bets” of 2005. The CD stayed in the top 30 at CFBU for nearly three months, while most of the time was spent at the top. Nationally, the album charted at #30 for the month of January on the Earshot Canadian Campus Radio charts. Warren responds, “Nobody is more surprised about the reception the album has gotten than I am. I suppose that after years of slugging it out in the nasty world of indie rock I’ve just been conditioned to have low expectations. It’s a defense mechanism – I guess.” - TOUGH GUYS by Jordy Yack


"Exclaim! Magazine"

Bronx Cheerleader
Tough Guy Clichés
Yummy Recordings

Although the absolutely lovely and inventive packaging compliments the discs’ title due to its’ stark depictions of mobsters and cops, the style of music couldn’t be farther from the titular literary devices. This music, beautifully crafted by main man S.D. Warren, reminds of the gentle pop stylings of the Clientele or similar Brit bands that ply their wares with hushed emotions and acoustic strums. Putting this on at a party may not be the best idea, but if you’re looking for something to sink your self-pitying teeth into, then you can’t go wrong here. “Racing Time” isn’t just dedicated to Elliott Smith, as Warren’s voice lovingly emulates the late man’s sing-speak along with the perfect driving pop beat. For the epic dream-like centrepiece, look to “The Assault” that allows the falsetto to soar and stimulate the introspection. Throughout Tough Guy Clichés there’s always a nagging familiarity, but it can easily be put aside. For those looking for a great slice of oozing sincerity, there probably won’t be as confident and driven statement of emotion as Bronx Cheerleader concoct here. - Review by Chris Whibbs


"SIXEYES.com"

Bronx Cheerleader
Tough Guy Cliches

*Sixeyes Score: 8.3 out of 10

This debut outing is wonderfully packed with strongly memorable melodies. Led by Scott Warren of former Toronto band Pope Factory, this is a DIY bedroom effort which was mixed and mastered by Yummy Recordings label head, Joe Lapinski. Relying heavily on acoustic guitar and frequent double tracking of Warren's soft vocals some of the album's 12 songs raise the spectre of Elliott Smith, but Warren's vocals are more akin to the ethereal voice of Great Lake Swimmer's Tony Dekker brought down to earth by the twin ghosts of Nick Drake and the aforementioned Smith. Standout tracks include "Hollywood Ending", "The Idea", Racing Time", and "Invisible Suit" with it's unexpected serpentine groove.

A series of songs that sparkle with the pent up energy of Warren's self-imposed exile from music. Shimmering with melancholia, Tough Guy Cliches, marks a very welcome return to the fold for Scott Warren. - Review by Alan Williamson


"Indiecan.com"

Bronx Cheerleader
Raising the bar for indie bands

2005 proved to be a banner year for the music industry, we were introduced to many hot bands such as Bloc Party, Death Cab For Cutie, The Bravery and many more. The bar has certainly been raised from art rock to punk and all genres in between. That said, Bronx Cheerleader certainly felt they had to come out swinging and in top form with their debut full length “Tough Guy Cliches” in 2005. After a few spins of this brilliant debut I couldn’t stop listening to it and decided that it was one of the best debut’s I’ve heard and was definitely one of the strongest releases of the year.

Rising from the ashes of former Toronto psych-rockers Pope Factory is founding member Scott Warren who after almost 3 years on hiatus following a the band’s breakup in 2001 had to bust out his axe and songwriting chops to get back to doing what he loves best: playing music. After writing a few new tunes in 2003 Scott had his momentum back and was on his way to laying out the blueprints for “Tough Guy Cliches”. This proved to be quite a task because Scott, who had since settled into domestic bliss with a new house and a brand new baby, had to find the time to juggle way more tasks than he was used to in prior music projects. The big changes had not only altered Scott’s lifestyle but also his songwriting which had evolved from the guitar rock sounds of Sonic Youth to a more mellow, yet still trippy, rock style comparable to the melodic styles of Mercury Rev, and vocal sounds of Elliot Smith.

Over 2 years into the project and a few band names later Bronx Cheerleader was officially born. The process of recruiting the band came while recording the CD, Scott had most of the tracks in place but needed key overdubs such as mandolin, lead guitars, drums and bass so he had to start making some calls to find players. The members of the band consist of a mixed bag of Scott’s musical acquaintances varying from family, friends, former band mates and a new recruit from a local record label, they are; original Pope Factory drummer (Sauder), brother in law & guitarist (Tom Tracey), long time friend and ex Palooka bassist (Eron Stroud), and finally Yummy Recordings label head and guitarist Joe Lapinsky. Having such a talented crew of musicians on his side was exactly what Scott needed to seal the deal and put out the long awaited “Tough Guy Cliches” and also have a spot reserved for the band on Yummy Recordings.

After the official release of Tough Guy Cliches, Bronx Cheerleader had to test the Canadian Indie market and start promoting their product, after sending out some promo CD’s they we’re surprised to find themselves on the national Top 50 chart of the Canadian College Radio circuit for over a month straight along with a spot on Earshot’s Top 30 Chart. Not too shabby for a St. Catharines band who had never even fully rehearsed or played a live show.

With such an impressive start in the band’s infancy there’s no question that we will be seeing and hearing great things to from this St. Catharines band as they are now in rehearsals preparing to hit the stage for the spring/summer season of 2006 and Scott Warren continues penning new material for their next CD which undoubtedly will be another killer.

[Andre Skinner] - Raising The Bar For Indie Bands by Andre Skinner


"PULSE Niagara's Weekly Alternative"

BRONX CHEERLEADER
TOUGH GUY CLICHES
(Yummy Recordings)

Before even thinking about writing a review for this album I sat and stared with a giddy gaze at my wall. I was around five songs into the album before I actually put my pen to the paper. “Hollywood Ending”, a standout track reminds me vaguely of The Shins. The song begins delicate, yet ends with gooey layers of unstoppable sound. Fronted by S.D. Warren (ex–Pope Factory), Bronx Cheerleader have created a precious and mezmerizing pop/rock debut. Sure, the term pop/rock sounds generic, however, they are anything but. Sprinkled throughout the album and accompanying the standard guitar/bass/drum combo are bountiful bits of harmonica, mandolin and keys. Warren’s harmnious vocals shine and display his range in “So Nice to See You (Fall)” complete with catchy riffs and pant shaking drumming. Tough Guy Cliches is an album that will increase your capacity to smile all day long. (Yummy) - Review by Jordy Yack


"!earshot online"

Bronx Cheerleader - Tough Guy Cliches - (Yummy Recordings)

This is the greatest pop release I've heard in a long time. Not only does the album contain superb songwriting, instrumentation, and vocals, but the packaging is beautifully handcrafted. Think of a better, Canadian version of the Shins, with the odd mandolin riff here and there. Yummy Recordings is run by Joe Lapinski who does everything DIY, is super nice, writes great music (Joe Lapinski and Palooka) and he certainly knows what he's doing. Canada meet Yummy, Yummy this is Canada. (shake hands here)

(Jordy Yack) - Best Local Release by Jordy Yack


Discography

Bronx Cheerleader - Tough Guy Cliches (2005)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Bronx Cheerleader is the brainchild of Scott Warren, former vocalist, guitar player and founding member of defunct Toronto indie-rockers Pope Factory. The CMJ Music Marathon Festival Guide once tagged Warren's former outfit as "smart, resonating alterna-pop" while in other circles they gained a reputation for writing difficult, quirky rock music. The dissolution of Pope Factory during the band's ill-fated 2001 U.S. Tour, from which two members of the band never returned, had lasting effects on the band's frontman.

An exodus from Toronto and music in general soon followed in late 2001. Living in self-imposed exile in rural eastern Ontario, Warren didn't pick up a guitar for nearly two years. This time to reflect allowed the embattled songwriter to gain a new lease on life, music and the direction of his craft. Shedding the prog-rock trappings of his former band, Warren embraced his natural melodicism and pop sensibilities which in the past had been subverted by the sonic maelstrom of the Pope Factory sound.

With new songs being penned at a brisk pace and a sense of rejuvenation afoot, a fortuitous meeting between old friends would further sow the seeds of a musical rebirth. Sauder, original drummer and founding member of Pope Factory, had parted ways with the band in 1998. In the summer of 2004, Warren happened upon his former bandmate at a Modest Mouse gig in Toronto. By the time Isaac Brock and Co. had exited the stage that night, Warren had coaxed Sauder out of retirement and Bronx Cheerleader was born.

With Sauder behind the drum kit and with a song of his own ready to contribute, long time mate and indestructible musical force Eron Stroud of Palooka soon joined the St. Catharines, Ontario-based Bronx Cheerleader line-up, providing bass, keyboards, and utter devastation. Thomas Tracey then joined the band to handle guitar and mandolin duty and most recently singer/guitarist/producer Joe Lapinski, also of Palooka, has come on board to round out the overall sound.

Bronx Cheerleader's debut album, Tough Guy Cliches, finds Warren testing new waters with kinder, gentler song stylings and yielding memorable results. Owing much in sensibilty to the work of the late Elliott Smith, it seems fitting that a tune on the album is dedicated to his memory ("Racing Time"). As a thematic piece Tough Guy Cliches is a playful homage to classic gangster films. It's also a tribute to a simpler time when criminals were at the very least charming, flamboyent, and more honest with who they were than the faceless, white-collar, Enron-era backroom gangsters of today.

Upon its November 2005 release Tough Guy Cliches was a surprise hit on Canadian college radio, reaching the # 30 spot on Earshot's National Top 50 Campus Radio chart for the month of January without the aid of any advertising, promotion or live shows. Amanda Putz, host of CBC Radio One's Bandwidth program included the album among her list of Best Bets of 2005. The album is a triumphant return for the D.I.Y.-minded Warren, who recorded the album's twelve tracks himself and also designed the album's artwork. Now, after a four-year hiatus the reclusive singer/songwriter is back, and making uncompromising, unapologetic pop music.