Philly Band Buzz: Cheers Elephant
On May 8, Philadelphia-area band Cheers Elephant will release their third record, Like Wind Blows Fire. An enjoyable ten-track album filled with a rootsy brand of psychedelic pop rock, Like Wind Blows Fire is a terrific record that combines fun and occasionally dreamy songwriting with astute arrangements. The band seems to never really waste a note throughout a record that is primed for the summer months.
Cheers Elephant is comprised of lead singer Derek Kryzwicki, bassist Matt Rothstein, guitar player Jordan del Rosario, and drummer Robert Kingsly. An unsigned independent band, the group was formed in 2007 and has already cut two records, 2011’s Man Is Nature and their 2008 debut Cheers Elephant.
The record starts with two tracks with the biggest hooks on Like Wind Blows Fire, “Peoples” and “Doin It Right.” “Peoples” starts with a brief instrumental prelude before Kryzwicki and the band trade repeating vocals on the very 60’s line “everybody’s got to love someone, sometime.” One of the best tracks on the record, “Peoples” sets the tone for the album as being a listen that generates pure fun. “Doin It Right” is built around a simple opening drumbeat and riff that leads to a set of sporadic vocals from Kryzwicki before peaking in an energetic crescendo that includes the record’s first use of a horn section.
Like Wind Blows Fireprimarily sticks to a formula of quick songs that range between 3-4 minutes in length. Only the final track, the dreamy six-minute “Balloon in the City,” exceeds that mark. The song was an intriguing way to finish off the record, as the nature of the music helps to cement the image of a balloon floating through the air. Other tracks of note include: “Thought and Commonsense” and the subdued “Little Dog.”
Cheers Elephant will be playing shows at various locations throughout the Philadelphia and New York areas this spring. I was able to catch the band as they played a short set outside of Main Street Music in Manyunk last week as a part of Record Store Day festivities and they put on a great show, particularly Kinsgly, who was a show unto himself on the drums and became one of my favorite finds of the last year.