Cherry Tempo
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Cherry Tempo

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There is a secret weapon that many bands seem to overlook. It might seem like an obvious thing, but if you listen to the current, deplorable state of mainstream music, you'll notice that not everyone possesses this weapon. Know what it is? It's a little thing called songs. That's right... songs. (I told you it would seem obvious.) The Cherry Tempo are an innovative and highly listenable pop group from Santa Fe with an arsenal of mellow, well-crafted songs perfectly suited as the soundtrack for a road trip. That's a hint, by the way.

If you can't make it all the way to Santa Fe (which I highly recommend you do from time to time), you can catch The Cherry Tempo in Albuquerque at Burt's on Friday, March 17, and Monday, March 20. Come on down and show some support for our Northern Brothers. You'll be glad you did. - New West Network


A few days ago I headed down to the Plaza to check out Cherry Tempo, a cute little indie rock group derived from now defunct local favorites Mistletoe, at the Santa Fe Summer Bandstand series. Cherry Tempo is one of the best bands in Santa Fe right now, not just because the group echoes current trends in the actual United States (there's a whole great big world out there beyond Albuquerque, ya'll), but because they do it so well. Unironic, good-hearted rock, centered around a m�lange of vintage keyboards, Brian Wilson melodies, Rickenbacker-sounding guitars, geek-chic, glasses-wearing sensitive boy rock is what's happening outside of our state's borders, and thank God some local musicians are paying attention, drawing from the national scene and being so damn good that someone's gotta pay attention.

And Cherry Tempo's that good. They're catchy but far from cloying, earnest, intelligent. In a sense, they're more than the sum of their parts: Bell-like guitar fills, fairly simple keyboard lines, sneakily inventive melodies. They're subtle.

...And there are all sorts of arcane and insider-y reasons for a music critic to love this band that would be of no interest to the average music listener. But I believe in this group - they've got something, that uncanny ability to take all the "right" indie-rock influences and create something heartfelt and smart and catchy. - Santa Fe Reporter


And then it was Cherry Tempo, set up on the loading dock in front of the old James Kelly Contemporary and using tight bass, deadly percussion and feedback so well-timed and subtle it was tinged with irony, and playing at the street, at the empty park, at the Allsup's, at the streets and Cline's Corners and through Texas and over the ocean, and playing right off the edge of the planet, answered by solar flares and dying stars. It felt that good. - Santa Fe Reporter


In the words of the Arctic Monkeys, "Put on your dancing shoes!" The Cherry Tempo entered my speakers, penetrated my ears, bobbed my head, and then exited my body via foot tapping. Suffice it to say, these guys can concoct some catchy beats. Electronica being fused with indie rock is suddenly showing up everywhere, and I'm not complaining. In fact, I'm proposing a swift orderly change to name this growing genre. Electro-indie? Indieronica?

Who knows.. what I do know is that The Cherry Tempo are one of the few (great) bands that hail from the southwest. Coming straight out of New Mexico - the innovative four piece pop band are very talented at crafting a delicious melody. The Cherry Tempo's sound falls somewhere in between lackadaisical, mellow, and lo-fi indie rock. I'm not a New Mexico native by any means, but is this the New Mexican sound?! - I Guess I'm Floating


Ok, this is where the alternate universe begins. Yesterday I featured a band from the UK that you, without reading the write up, might have guessed was from the states. (specifically Cleveland, Ohio in my mind.) Today we have a band from New Mexico that has this song which could easily remind you of a number of bands from the UK. The featured song kicks off with what I think to be the old cassette tape bleeps but that could just be the MP3 I downloaded from MFR. Not sure about that. Once the vocals start you just have to know that this is yet another treat for your ears here on MML. The other music I heard from this band is more focused toward guitars and sounds equally fantastic. I highly recommend a visit to their MySpace page to hear four more songs. I've been listening to Wake Up Gertrude quite a bit also. It sounds a like an old Lemonheads song to me.

Santa Fe, New Mexico is home to the indie rock quartet The Cherry Tempo. The band members (w/ MySpace links) are Javier on guitar & voice, Dave on guitar, Will on drums & voice and finally Jasper on bass & voice. The band's debut album came out in May of this year and is aptly titled Self Titled. You can buy it if you visit either The Cherry Tempo website or you could also visit the band's label June Records to do the same. I won't be able to do these guys any more justice than to tell you that big things are coming for them. I will, instead, send you here to read an additional bio regarding the beginnings of the band. Happy Saturday!! - Milk Milk Lemonade


The Cherry Tempo
Self-Titled
June Records

In today’s day and age, everyone and their little sister can make an album. It can be seen as a curse with the scene being flooded with some the worst and strangest music anyone could’ve imagined - but at the same time there are so many records popping up that deserve to be heard and in another time, may never have been made. Recorded in a weekend and then mixed on lead-singer Javier Romero’s home computer, the self-titled debut from New Mexico’s Cherry Tempo has become a reality for this quartet. While this album may not be the epitome of indie-pop perfection, with some areas of confusion like the last half of “City Squares” with it’s out of tune guitars, but it is certainly worth giving a listen and perhaps you may find something you like. Maybe even something you like a lot.

With Cherry Tempo originating from the birth state of The Shins, it’s probably not surprising that there are some influences, mostly from the Chutes Too Narrow time as opposed to their earlier, more docile days. The energy heard all throughout The Shins' 2003 release is the same upbeat and catchy virus that can be caught at nearly any point within this debut. With jangly guitars, upbeat drums, keyboards and even the occasional synthesizer, this group seems to be on to something. Although, I could do without the unnecessary electronic opener and closer since they don’t do anything to add to the quality of the album.

The album starts out with a simple electronic beat I’m sure comes standard with any keyboard. And in those 10 seconds, it’s easy to have second thoughts about the album. But then, before you can act on that thought the ridiculously catchy rhythm, guitars and vocals explode onto the scene with “Wake Up! Gertrude Stein.” This is an infectious pop tune that you will have trouble getting out of your head with its simple yet energetic nature.

Next, “Treble Is High” enters with an interesting song that has some influences from Modest Mouse - in addition to what could be identified from the first track's electronic opening with hand claps. The MM style shrieking during the chorus seem out of place, although I have to admit they started to grow on me after a few listens, but the guitar influences are well integrated and work well to keep the song moving at a nice page. About a minute and a half into the track, the tempo slows and the vocals become more breathy before the electronic beat leaks back in and the song really seems to find just the combination of guitar, electronics and rolling drums.

“All Our Lives Are Running Down” seems like it easily could’ve been heard onChutes Too Narrow, but with less jangly guitars, and continues on with the energy established immediately in the opening track. Although the jangle shows up on “Slow Slow Fandango” which is a slower track that has Romero’s unabashed vocals sounding very raw. Another more docile tune is “Of Ghosts, Keepsakes” that channels more of a 60’s style influence and is a nice change - although Romero sounds like he’s beginning to lose his voice, which gets more and more hoarse towards the end.

“In Hindsight I Know” closes the album with a mid-tempo tune that has breathy vocals riding along on electronic waves. Although the electronic “Outro” feels more like a bad 90’s dance remix and kills the song completely. It’s unfortunate that this is the note the band ends on. Luckily for them, they have some tracks that are catchy enough for the listener to remember them, even after their ears have been assaulted with the last two minutes of the album. So this may not be one of those amazing, intelligently crafted albums that will go down as an instant classic, but there are certainly some songs that display a talented band that, if they were to further hone there style, could certainly do something interesting.

-Lisa Town
02/20/07 - Delusions of Adequacy


Discography

New Album out 2008!

Self-titled Album Released July 25, 2006

For a preview

Go to www.myspace.com/cherrytempo

Photos

Bio

The Cherry Tempo formed in Santa Fe, NM in early 2005, Based on a foundation of material left over Javier Romero’s prior band Mistletoe, their first year as a band found them garnering comparisons such as “Elvis Costello with more synths” or "an even poppier John Vanderslice". They gained nearly instant attention from the Santa Fe music and gallery scene, by simply sounding nothing like anybody in the area. By their first year as a band, they’d completed their first self-titled album, and lost their keyboardist David Bodelson as he went on to pursue a blooming art career in Philadelphia.

Pared down to a four-piece, 2006 has seen The Cherry Tempo finding their group identity. In the wake of their self-titled release on June Records, they’ve gained nationwide airplay in the college and independent radio markets, accolades from the musical blog community and found themselves on the soundtrack of a VHQTV Singapore production entitled "The Adventures of Holden Heng".

In 2008 Cherry Tempo are hitting their stride as a formidable live touring act and as recording artists. With a songs featured on a handful of episodes on The Real World, they are asserting themselves on a national level. They are currently poised to release their 2nd album The Hunter and The Fog, which finds them exploring darker, somewhat more political territory. With William Phillip’s Stuwart Copeland by way of Jimmy Chaimberlin drumming, Jasper Schriber’s John Paul Jones bass style, Dave Jordan’s Cure-like guitar soundscapes, and Javier Romero’s Beatlesque songwriting and soaring voice, it’s clear that The Cherry Tempo are becoming a budding rock tour-de-force.