Cheap Haircuts are a folk punk/folk pop band from Texas. In June 2014 they released a fantastic album named My American Dream. I was very very late to the party on this one but after listening I decided that it definitely needed reviewing.
The first song is called The Blue Album and is a reference to the Weezer album of the same name. It's about wanting to go back to a time when life was simpler. From the very beginning of the song you get a good feel for Cheap Haircuts unmistakable sound; piano driven folk punk accompanied by acoustic guitars, bass, drums and sometimes some brass. My American Dream is a song about living life how you want to and not doing things because it's considered the normal thing to do. With a lot of gang vocals and some brass the song feels like a celebration of living life your own way. The third track - Texas Hold 'Em - is much more stripped back than American Dream. Lyrically the song is very self-depreciating but musically it's very upbeat. It makes you feel like that even if things aren't how you want them to be it doesn't mean that life is bad. The fourth song is named FDR. This track is quite up-tempo and really draws you in with some catchy lyrics about being bored and stuck in a rut.
Board Games was one of the stand out songs on the album when I first listened to it. The sound and feeling of the track has a far more serious tone to it than anything else on the album and the trumpet is featured heavily throughout. It's about wanting to say something but not having enough courage to take the chance and say it. Motel 6 is a song about struggling to get over someone and it not being any easier the older that you get. The song is a bit of a plodder, it never really changes tempo throughout, but it's a fun sing along song with some good punchy moments. The penultimate track is called I Am A Diver, You Are A Shallow Pool and starts off really restrained for the first verse before coming to life. It's a sweet little love song where the singer talks about loving someone no matter what. My American Dream finishes with a sing titled Elton John. This is a very downbeat song about screwing up everything in your life and feeling sorry for yourself. It starts out slowly before perking up for the final verse to make sure the album finishes with a flourish.
My American Dream is a fun and unique little album. I like hearing bands try different things and that's certainly what Cheap Haircuts have done very well here.
Stream and buy My American Dream here: https://cheaphaircuts.bandcamp.com/album/my-american-dream
Like Cheap Haircuts here: https://www.facebook.com/cheaphaircutsband