The recent move from Brooklyn to Atlanta seems to have had a profound effect on the duo of Hank & Cupcakes and their sound as evidenced by Cheap Thrill, their compelling new collection of tunes.
To the casual H&C listener (If there is such a thing), fuzzed out and bombastic opener “Kiss Your Face” will have you thinking that it’s business as usual with this little ditty that’s ideal for opening sets, albums, and welcoming new fans/listeners to the party. Delve deeper into Cheap Thrill, though, and the Southern-fried synth-pop brims to the surface especially on tracks like “Old & New” and the title track. The latter shares DNA with the more down by the river gospel moments of “Cocaina” from 2014’s brilliant Ca$h 4 Gold album while the former goes full on “Devil Went Down to Georgia” H&C-style with its shuffle and feel.
Throughout Cheap Thrill Hank & Cupcakes concoct these amazing aural journeys that take their sound further than ever before to make what might be their best album yet. Songs like “Boulevard” with its rockin’ spoken/singsong delivery by Cupacakes (Sagit Shir) and infectious hand claps or the Kinks/”You Really Got Me” melody driven by Hank (Ariel Scherbacovsky) on “Ice Machine” or even the Devo meets H&C quirk of “Duplicate” are all prime examples of how much this duo has evolved as musicians and songwriters.
It’s not until the halfway point that Cheap Thrill actually slows down and that’s par the course when it comes to Hank & Cupcakes and even with “Telephone Line”, which is at times like an old school Go-Go’s jam, slow doesn’t mean the fun stops. “A Thousand Times”, on the other hand, shuffles in with Shir’s uncanny voice bringing life to one of the best sing-a-long choruses on the album while “Waiting” glistens with the feel of their earlier works.
But we’re not done yet! If you like your album closers epic then strap in and prepare for “See The Lie”, a colossal 8-minute closer that doesn’t hold back, pull any punches, and utilizes every amazing thing in the Hank & Cupcakes musical repertoire culminating in a glorious sonic orgasm that is probably the closest a listener will get to experiencing the end of a live H&C set from home.
Cheap Thrill isn’t out until July 1st but pre-orders are already available through the H&C official site here. Oh, and if you pre-order the digital through Itunes you get half of the album instantly. What are you waiting for again?