Album of the Day: Cheap Synths – Yes Yes Yes

Posted by Greg on May 8, 2019 in Music, NYC |


Two of our favorite New York City-based singer-songwriters have teamed up to create the dance-heavy project Cheap Synths. Led by Wakey! Wakey! frontman Mike Grubbs and singer-songwriter/journalist Danny Ross, the band is a self-described mix of LCD Soundsystem and the White Stripes.

Thanks to Grubbs’ emotive delivery, their debut album Yes Yes Yes is a refreshing cocktail of late-night bangers that just might become the next great NYC outfit. Signed to Rough Trade Records, Cheap Synths has a staying power that goes farther than many of their contemporaries. Whether its bombastic opener “M4D” and its ridiculously hooky chorus or the adrenaline-fueled “Work!!,” which is the musical equivalent to an Adderral overdose, the album’s first two cuts are brimming with swagger, polish and more confidence than Mick Jagger.

Arguably the album’s strongest effort is “Devastate,” a 4-minute effort that opens with driving guitars before diving into a swimming pool of loops and synths. Equal parts celestial, airy and ethereal, it is the band’s first attempt at mid-tempo and hot damn is it something. Fresh on the heels of something a bit more sedate comes the frenetic “Baby Caught Lonely.”

Arguably the most quirky effort to date, it is also the closest to The White Stripes of any song on the album. Featuring hyper-charged energy it is the kind of song to drive on an open highway with your best gal riding shotgun. Revisiting the same energy of “Work!!” and “Devastate” is the urgent “Come Around Kid,” a plinky and punky effort that sounds like the warnings of a schoolyard bully married to a ridiculously intoxicating beat.

Penultimate effort “I Hate This City” is swirly and cylindrical, almost borderline kaleidoscopic in its vibe. Other than the passionate refrain “I hate this city, I love this city,” the song actually offers very little in terms of redeeming value. But that refrain, holy crap, is it invigorating. Heck, we’ve been singing it for hours on end. And being that this blog actually started in a NYC office, we can certainly relate.

Final song “Nobody Bleeds Tonight” might just be the band’s best effort and their pinnacle track. In short, it’s probably one of the best songs you’ll hear this year, and one of the best songs by any New York City band in the last three or four years.

Listen to Yes Yes Yes! and listen to it loud. This band just might take NYC by storm.


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