The Cheaters Club – QQROFL

The Cheaters Club brings the dirge. There’s no mistaking the Arab Strap stylings on QQROFL, a CD title surely meant to convey the irony of the situation. The Cheaters Club probably goes a step beyond its mentors in terms of frank talk, though. This one’s ready to take on the PMRC (does that organization still exist?).

QQROFL trades on simple electronic beats and minimal keyboard melodies. Sometimes the melodies get a little dissonant (“East and West,” which also does some vocoding on the vocals) or benefit from lurking, somber chords and drones (“Uncertain”). On “Not So Much,” the duo puts in a few extra unsettling samples to disorient, backed by what might even be a bass guitar.

The vocals have the overly dramatic quality of the fashionable mainstream emo bands: breathy and drawn out, more spoken than sung. It’s a little self-conscious but not out of character for this kind of music. “Pleasure comes in tiny ripples / Pleasure comes in waves,” from the track “Pleasure,” again isn’t out of place for this kind of music. But what follows is a little more explicit than most: the rejoinder “I just want to fuck you” does get to the point in a way that dispenses with the indirection and innuendo that more wishy-washy bands might have chosen to employ. Other songs use the same direct lyrical approach, which is almost refreshing in its being so forthright.

If you’re ready for a downer of an album that’s uncluttered by fussy arrangements or confessions of love, you could do worse than QQROFL. If you’re standing on a railing of the Golden Gate Bridge, it’s probably best to go with something else.