The Checks
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The Checks

Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand | INDIE

Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand | INDIE
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"The Checks @ Annandale Sydney"

The Checks were almost the odd ones out on their own bill. Gone was the long hair, garage rock and metal of the previous bands and in their place was suits, buttoned shirts and a level of tightness and ‘performance’ that only eight years of touring and recording can give you. It almost felt like the Annandale stage was too small for the sound of The Checks, especially when they hit their big choruses and dialled up the volume on their larger riffs.
Frontman Ed Knowles possesses a devastating voice that switches between searing scream and uber-melodic singing with consummate ease. His dancing is another matter entirely – all twitches and idiosyncratic jerks and moves that looked like he was dancing wildly on the inside while struggling to pretend he wasn’t.
Musically the band rolled through all the songs that have made them hometown heroes, from their early blues drenched rock to the poppier angles of songs likeBallroom Baby that sounded gloriously like the Bee Gees in Jamaica with it’s contagious falsetto. Elsewhere There Is A Field was a stadium worthy anthem unafraid to go epic and Take Me There easily out jetted Jet with its stop/start bluesy holler.
The Checks were the complete package. Looking the part, sounding fantastic and clearly possessing songwriting abilities that allow them to stand out from the overcrowded indie/rock/pop bottleneck that too often suffers from a lack of depth or longevity. They deserve much wider exposure here in Australia and should be easily filling much larger venues. Let’s hope they return sooner rather than later.
- Fasterlouder.com.au


"Collection of quotes"

“Alice by the moon is one of the best albums of the year and it is easy to see that over the years The Checks will soon be regarded as one of the greatest rock bands on earth” -subcultureentertainment.com 2010

“...The Checks were the complete package. Looking the part, sounding fantastic and clearly possessing songwriting abilities that allow them to stand out from the overcrowded indie/rock/pop bottleneck that too often suffers from a lack of depth or longevity.” — Faster Louder.com.au, 2010

"The Antipodeon revolution blows up again as these five Auckland kids show Aussie cousins Jet a thing or ten about retro R&B"-NME 2007

“His voice, holy shit, switches between a searing scream to something more melodic and then moves like the devil possessed with some wild dance moves.” - Rip it up

"Intoxicating, raucous and beautifully distorted, any fears of a sophomore slump for Devonport's wonderkids The Checks are firmly chased away by the shrill scream of guitars and Ed Knowles' vocals on Bagheera." NZ Herald June 2009

If this was "the difficult second album" for local rock'n'roll darlings The Checks it certainly doesn't sound it: it struts with well placed self-assurance...

Here they cannon off into thick riffery which has echoes of early Led Zeppelin, unleash some guitar firepower in the manner of mid-period Hendrix and indulge in some eerie psychedelics." Elsewhere.co.nz June 2009

"The Checks deliver their usual, pulse-pounding, energy, and nothing less. " Inyourspeakers.com

"Crunching guitars and creeping beats that have look to put Alice By The Moon on my year’s best albums list so far" Theburningear.com

..Like angry bastard children of The White Stripes and Kings of Leon, New Zealand’s The Checks quickly make their presence known. Peddling some impressively passionate and raw guitar-driven rock...” - Newsfix.com.au - various


Discography

7" single "What You Heard" 2005 NZ

7" Vinyl / Download Single - "Hunting Whales"
Released May 2007 Full Time Hobby UK

CD/Single - "Take Me There"
Released June 2007 Red Label - AUS
Released 7" single July 2007 Full Time Hobby - UK

CD/Single - "What you HEard"
Released June 2007 Red Label - AUS
Released 7" single July 2007 Full Time Hobby - UK

LP/ALBUM - "Hunting Whales" September 2007 Full Time Hobby - UK

SINGLE DOWNLOAD "There is a Field" 2008

LP/ALBUM - "Alice By The Moon" released NZ- Pie Club records/Rhythmethod 2009
Released September 2010- Pie Club Records/ MGM Australia

Photos

Bio

Hi I am Edward from The Checks. I am going to tell you about my band. It’s a good band. We started out at the age of 15 genuinely believing we were the best band on the planet and I guess we still do, just in a slightly more socially acceptable manner. We grew up in Devonport on Auckland’s North Shore. We all went to school together, watched each other get 3-month girlfriends, driving licenses and patchy side burns. They were golden years spent driving around, changing the gears with our feet, to various pie retailers, beaches and op shops. We all lived through each other’s c.d collections and before we knew it music had taken over our lives, unapologetically.

We decided to make a band when “Is This It” by The Strokes came out. Very quickly afterwards we entered the National Band Competition with an average age of 15. All we had was a guitar riff with a gap where I would shout anything I could think of into the microphone before repeating the cycle. Talk about a formula. It really worked because things started looking up. We began playing gigs with local bands and R.E.M.

I guess one of the most interesting things about The Checks is the list of bands that we have played with, (not too sure if that is a good or bad thing.) R.E.M, Oasis, ACDC, The Hives, Black Rebel Motor Cycle Club, The Killers, Jet, The Hold Steady, Muse, Turbo Fruits, The Rakes, Florence and the Machine and Maximo Park not to mention White Birds and Lemons, Brain Slaves and The Electric Confectioners. We loved all of these shows and would be quite happy to become full time curtain operators, drinks vendors or ushers.

So going back a bit we got spotted by The NME in 2005, flew over to England, played on their tour and signed to Full Time Hobby/ Sony BMG. Naturally we all relocated to London in 2006. We recorded our debut album “Hunting Whales” with Ian Broudie from the Lightening Seeds. He really did a great job and is a very talented producer / Liverpool United fan. We hounded Phil Brown, our engineer, for stories about working with The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix. As he politely obliged ‘Take That’ was recording their come back album in the studio upstairs. A definite week of firsts for us.

We toured extensively after ‘Hunting Whales’ came out, playing a total of 117 shows in 2007. We played all through the UK, Germany, Spain, Japan and parts of the States. We drank beers outside Scottish castles with Bitter Sweet Symphony by the Verve blaring out of our tour van. We got free shoes but maybe forgot to tie the laces because unfortunately we got dropped from the label soon after. We were not too fussed because it was an irreplaceable experience and we did get some really nice guitars out of it. We bare no hard feelings.

We moved back to New Zealand and made our second album ‘Alice by the Moon’. The songs came together quickly because we let them. A slightly dazed year spent touring ‘Alice’ around New Zealand and Australia followed its release. The NZ Herald noted we were treading “the fine line between experimentation and reinvention.” It was a fair comment too because we were not afraid of playing with sounds and feels that we had no intention of proceeding with nor returning to. We just wanted to make a record for us. For then and there. ‘Alice by the Moon’ won Rock Album of the Year at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards.

Nearly ten years have passed since we began and we have just completed our third studio album with producer Bassy Bob Brockman from New York City. He mixed nearly all of Biggie Smalls work amongst other big names that sound good in a bio. Bob Dylan (cough cough). He worked his fingers to the bone for us and quickly became a close friend. It’s an album of 10 good songs. I never thought we would be able to make a short album but it just seemed to form that way magnetically.

I have now reached the part that hasn’t happened yet so I better give it a rest. Thanks for reading.