Tue November 19, 2013
Cha-Cha Chachi: Cincinnati's Finest Garage Rock
Like all great moments in history, it all started with a tweet.
Earlier in the week, I was all ready to review a different album (which will probably appear next week) when I received this message:
— Cha-Cha Chachi (@ChaChaChachi_OH) November 18, 2013
This moment was just too serendipitous; and I felt compelled to check it out, since they went to the trouble to contact me directly and, honestly, because I can not resist a sick bassline.
Cha-Cha Chachi is true garage-rock at its finest. Their Facebook page description reads:
Formed in a basement on Marshall Ave. in Clifton on March 2012 with paint mixers for drum sticks, one working bass amp with no bass player and a cell phone for a mic. We've moved up to the Lockland practice space with a full on rhythm section and TWO mics!
Anyone who has ever played in band probably can - and should be able to - relate to this sentiment.
Cha-Cha Chachi is made up of Josh "Chachi" Landers [Vocals], Nick Perkins [Guitar], Tori Kadish [Bass] and Sabrina Nowling [Drums]. Their self-titled debut album was produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by Todd Uttley at Electric Eye Studios. Uttley has done a very good job of letting the music speak for itself by not over-producing the tracks. There is a real "recorded live in a laundromat" edge to the sound.
Cha-Cha-Chachi makes no apologies for the straightforward simplicity of their style - nor should they. Songs like "Amber" and "Missed Connections" bring to mind early work by The Stooges, while "Wontchu" reminds me of the songs that I lived for back in the heyday of SST Records. And yes, "Back Again" does feature a sick bassline by Tori Kadish.
I was happily surprised by the last two tracks on the album, "Changed My Mind" and "Deep In." They close the album out with a slightly more psychedelic, 60's go-go sound which I found refreshing. I really want to see this band live because I believe every ounce of energy that they've put into this album will only be doubled or tripled on stage.
The music of Cha-Cha Chachi is gritty, unpolished and delightfully raw. Anyone who enjoys the music of The Sonics, The Fuzztones or The Seeds should make a concerted effort to seek them out.
Cha-Cha Chachi's self-titled debut album is available from Bandcamp.com.