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Cheaters Club
Youcanbreathenow Music

Certain embittered persons on this sphere are inconsolable. Those who recognize the beauty in sorrow, the healing attributes of the blues, these share a disdain for bubbliness. Unhappy without something to complain about, they tend to become tortured artists or music critics. I don't know anyone like this, but my wife lives with one. With its mission of dragging the dregs with a lethargic, sinister net, The Cheater's Club won't allow anyone to parade in its rain.

Eon Fontes-May's croaks are a menacing whisper like Gordon Gano on his deathbed, bidding his reluctant heir closer so as to issue an unsavory legacy. Steve Armstrong's chain-gang folk guitar is offset by Men Without Hats But With Heroin electronics and minty-cool trip-hop. By avoiding traditionally dark methods, he provides a contrast that proves even creepier, like that insincere smile on a so-called friend. Perhaps they were going for a Pop Goes The World sound, but the floor kept collapsing on them, what with all the spinning. The music box boinging invariably decomposes into the cacophony heard in a twisted mind. The apex of this degradation is synaptic break of "After The First Time." It fights real hard for clarity, but there's a static freakout going on in the distance that causes the eyelids to twitch., the colors to oscillate and your partner to look concerned because they can't hear what's going on in your blown gasket- basket as you feign normalcy. Then there's the spooky Muppet monster chorus on "Quite Alright."

When the fragile warbling of Mariel Blair comes into play, the story really strikes home. Blair, the former bandmate and girlfriend of Fontes-May, performs on two of the breakup songs she inspired. Not since the godawful Fleetwood Mac have we heard ex's hashing out their closure for our benefit. (Perhaps the hideous "You're So Vain", depending on which camp is pointlessly arguing.) Together they embody vulnerability like a couple of jonesing junkies quivering in sickness on the edge of crumbling. The melodrama between lovers lost brings Fontes-May into an indulgent depression that would make M. Gira say "Lighten up, man, it'll all be OK."

Call it schadenfreude, or shared experience, but there's something innately comforting about witnessing another person's misery. I for one believe that in some way, we can learn something from it. And through the therapeutic purging of the soul, we are part of the unburdening. Bullshit? Perhaps. Better this than watching another poor little rich girl muddle through life on the tube. Give me something like Trist. that I can relate to.

On a scale of potential "You're So Vain" targets; one being Mick Jagger and ten being Cat Stevens: Trist. garners a nine- you think this song is about YOU, don't you?

-Ewan Wadharmi

Track List:

1. Saturn
2. Anthony
3. You've Been Happier
4. Quite Alright
5. We Could Be Anywhere
6. Relatively Certain
7. Everybody Here
8. Interlude
9. Clean Break
10. After the First Time
11. Summer Song
12. In the End

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