Cherubs Uncovered By Heartbeat

It remains to be seen whether the post-punk trend is still relevant — if it is, Cherubs aren’t far from collegiate dancehall glory. They sound both new and "authentic,” a hodgepodge of angular Gang of Four/Joy Division-isms, ’80s Dischord influence and Interpol-like ambition, somewhat like Q & Not U with less emo nostalgia. The singer has his "hey, I’m a crazy guy” warble down well, and the music is unfailingly catchy — "9 Stars Out of Ten” has a fun Gun Club-style rockabilly swing, and "Adult Video/Chinese Food” boasts a good, driving, rock-cum-skronk riff. And they’ve got persona to really catch on — a balance of new wave sensitivity and punk-y, detached confidence. Though Cherubs may be a little too radio friendly for staunch fans of their influences to appreciate, they get the stamp of approval for newer generation punk fans. You can predict when the tambourine’s going to come in, but it sounds good when it does — a little cheesy, but at least they know where they come from. (Caroline)