Take Me There
The Checks release their first commercial single 'Take Me There' from their stunning debut album, 'Hunting Whales' due for release later this year in September. It's an utterly infectious beat pop ditty that skips along, building rapidly towards the explosion of a chorus that once again highlights singer Ed Knowles' incredible, age defying rasping roar of a voice.
But it's lyrically that 'Take Me There' really shines. Written when Ed was just 17, it's full of beautifully surreal rhyming couplets....soundbites of satirical imagery which rapidly mutate and bounce off each other. 'You're waking up martyrs/to ask them for lighters', 'Arithmetic angels/use the stage names of angles' and the classic 'She's training pigeons/to lose their bearings/They deliver earrings/to girls with no hearing' are a few of the lyrical gems on offer here.
These vignettes revolve around the fact that the world can often seem morally backwards and chaotic and that this is what society is increasingly veering towards, as the chorus explodes into an almost gospel like mantra to "Take Me There".
The road from the squeaky-clean world of the Barbershop quartet to the gravel-throated, primal howl of the blues is perhaps one less travelled, but it's what's led scarily-young Auckland, NZ five-piece The Checks to the precipice of success in 2007. Since forming at the grand age of fifteen (they all hover between nineteen and twenty now), the band have had a meteoric rise in their native New Zealand, their bluesy, age-defying garage rock racket winning them fans as illustrious as REM's Michael Stipe and Noel Gallagher, and bagging them a 2005 New Zealand Music Award after just one 7" single. The Checks' sound, however - spinehair-tingling, raucous, riff soaked rock n' roll - is a product of the modern world.
Having bagged a record deal during their short stint in England, they relocated to Kilburn in 2006 and got straight down to recording their debut album with Ian Broudie (The Coral, The Zutons, Echo & The Bunnymen). The result is one of the great debut records of the year, a spit n' sawdust rock n' roll record that's bursting at the seams with songs to send you bare-chested and wild.
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