Cheek Of Her – Megaphonic

Having exploded onto the London scene in 2010 with her heartfelt performances, Helen Dooley, better known as The Cheek Of Her, has returned with her second EP “Megaphonic” and a brand new band line-up.

A wondrous evolution, “Megaphonic” takes her tongue-in-cheek dramatic, pop rock approach and catapults it into new realms with tracks like the hook laden, slicing ‘Beauty Queen’ the electronically tinged, rocky appeal of ‘Bog Standard Heartburn’.

The Cheek of Her MegaphonicIn the ‘Beauty Queen’  a tatty, neglected rag doll sings the verse:  “Give me a reason – just one reason to love you…”   The line contains just the right amount of comic gloom.  Helen Dooley is like the white-faced clown in the circus parade – she seems to have a large silver tear permanently dripping down one sharp cheek.  The face of fun is also the face of sadness.   Musically, the song ‘Beauty Queen’ is a carpet-bag of patchwork remainders.  Large blocks of bass sound mixed up with cord and leather tassels.  And,  always, those shy trembling Aunt Sally vocals.  She may be easily knocked down – but you can be sure that she will rebound back quickly enough.

Something Out of Nothing’ clicks into gear with a disturbing piano accompaniment. Then the voice anxiously scrapes along … until the piece explodes into bloom. The song is then laced with fat guitars and lyrics that remind us of Alanis Morissette. Elegant and sardonic. It also has an ‘Adam Anty’ finish to it.

In ‘Yes. It’s a Love Song’ Helen tells us that she can write “ A love song just the way it should be sung…”   In other words, as a resentful hymn to the injustices of love.  The oddly scruffy voice  is strangely hypnotic. It always contains a good deal of sarcasm and wit. But, in the end, you realize that a precious intimacy can be found.

Bog Standard Heartburn’ has a powerful pattern of percussion – these sounds swirl around the voice, painfully invoking the image of a cloud of gnats. This song is rash. Full of itching sensations that get under the skin. Afterwards you will need a good scratch.

The EP concludes with ‘The Swell’.  This has got an off-beat rhythm and a tremulous vocal line.  It sounds like Helen has recorded the vocal whilst riding a bone-shaker down a flinty path. It is a song full of wonder and bumpy tones .  A charming number. It will make you think, even while you delight in the optimistic beliefs, and the hectic shades.  ‘Beauty is in the detail’ – indeed!     – © Neil_Mach February 2013


Next Live Date:

Mar 10    The Fiddler’s Elbow  London

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