Cheap Time have come a long way in the short time they've been around, and it's with great pleasure that we finally have the culmination of their efforts distilled into the epic full-length sitting here before us. Even back in Jeff's formative days with his solo project, the Jeffrey Novak One Man Band, it was evident that he had so much more to give to the rock'n'roll underworld than that, or his contribution in the Rat Traps could suggest. Even despite the adrenaline-crazed sounds he was spewing forth, drumstick in guitar strumming hand, you can still marvel at the energy levels frantic enough to jump start a semi truck. In his latest creation, Cheap Time is a refined power pop vehicle that gleans the irresistible glittery nuances from all the right hiding spots for modern inspiration, and blasts them forth onto the futuristic palette of today's glam-savvy punk fans to absorb while scrambling to pick up the last scraps of non-comped Velvet Tinmine tracks still floating around.
As they displayed so brashly on their debut 7" on Sweet Rot last year, and their face-smashing follow-up Handy Man 7" on Douche Master earlier this year, Cheap Time still holds their Redd Kross influence close to their heart. Yet with further expansion on the 1976-era fork in the road artistic direction, they belligerently steer themselves into unclassifiable categories, akin to when the newly marketed 'punk' label was still being applied to atypical bands like The Quick, Television, The Fast and Milk 'n Cookies, much to the confusion of the record-buying public. While Cheap Time may inconspicuously take more cues from the Dickies, Sparks and Zolar X than anyone else these days, it's their unique assembly of all these incorrigible styles into one cohesive sounding record that makes them rise above the overall current wave of pop music, and into the clear forefront of modern rock'n'roll. As an album full of intensely buzzing hits and virtually no misses, its impact is immediate and irreversible and pulls the sticky sweet reduction of all these long-forgotten styles into one of the tightest and most enjoyable debut LPs in recent memory.
With Jeff Novak's short-lived Peoploids demos now re-recorded for the Cheap Time LP, also included is the crowd favorite "People Talk" (by the Jack Oblivian-penned late 80s band, The End), which was given new life, along with a boatload of viciously steaming pop hits surely destined for futuristic radio playlists on far away planets. The energy levels are insurmountable, the songs are simply unstoppable, and the damage they will do to the pop underworld is recklessly unavoidable. Cheap Time have the style, the spirit and the guts to tour like crazy and go far, so it's without any further hesitation that you lift up your lazy ass and pick up a copy of their remarkable contemporary touchstone of punk/pop brilliance before your little sister is downloading the tracks into her dirty diapers, and Jeff enters his hopefully unnecessary Cockney Rebel phase. Of course, I'm kidding, but with the doors blown wide open like they have been in the last few years, anything is possible, and being bowled over by new sounds is still as refreshing as ever before.