Friday, April 25, 2008

Cherry Twister - At Home With Cherry Twister - 2000

The title says it all: Cherry Twister are a homespun pop group, and At Home With Cherry Twister is a collection of their homemade demo recordings. Led by frontman Steve Ward, Cherry Twister embody the D.I.Y. ethic of Ram-era McCartney while sounding like they spend lots of time listening to Beach Boys and Big Star records. The guitars are alternately chiming and crunchy all over this one, with gooey, almost sticky-sweet background vocals drenched over every bridge and chorus. The problem is that it sounds better on paper. Like all too many of their peers, Cherry Twister fail to stumble across anything resembling a truly memorable hook (with a few notable exceptions, such as "Meteorite"). And at 16 tracks, the album is an awful lot to swallow, given the lack of an obvious entry point, and given that Steve Ward's rather pinched vocals are an acquired taste. Even with these limitations, At Home With Cherry Twister became one of the most popular guitar pop cult records of the late '90s, showing that Ward's endearingly quirky songwriting and the Twister's devotion to '60s-influenced three-and-a-half minute pop singles certainly reached quite a few listeners.-AMG

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