Cheer-Accident – Fear Draws Misfortune

Cheer-Accident – Fear Draws Misfortune

Cheer-Accident – Fear Draws Misfortune

For as long as its been an outfit that constantly stretches the boundaries of funk, jazz and post-rock, Cheer-Accident is still considered part of Chicago’s underground scene. But when you’ve comfortably made a name for creating slow-building, cryptic-structured music that hasn’t changed from inception, then it’s feasible.

Fear Draws Misfortune is more of the solid music that has made Cheer-Accident a staple amongst atmospheric rock lovers. And it even features some of the group’s more dense compositions to date. Starting from the back, “Your Weak Heart” details the bitter hope for overcoming trepidation. Thymme Jones’ vocals aren’t the best around but they reveal a wounded heart, ready to get healthy. Following a piano line that gradually dissipates into a prog-rock ensuing tromp, everything quickens to a frenzied pace. The bari sax enters in an attempt to calm but instead breathes fuel into the steam engine. Somewhere between the known and unknown, the piano jabs away with a plodding stomp of clustered chords before a synthesizer is invited.

“Blue Cheadle” calls for the funk and grimy feel of hard-hitting rock. Its minimalistic approach is handled with discreet touches of fighting guitars and a drum kit that punishes. The vocals come in the form of droning basses, without any aim to enunciate a word. It’s heady, weighty, thick music that requires patient ears. And that’s really what it all boils down to, because one needs to ask just how much of this kind of music can one handle?

The pieces of music that are sequenced on Fear Draws Misfortune are not the types that you would treat lightly. While it isn’t necessarily loud music, it is recklessly happy with making things uncomfortable. After a minute of lightly tapped drums, a pound that sounds like bombs are being set off on “Disenchantment” signals the arrival of Aleksandra Tomaszewska’s frightened singing. Disguised as another song, “The Carnal, Garish City” is smoothly transitioned into, you’d never know those menacing saxes and horns aren’t part of the former. And sometimes, as in the following transition to “According to the Spiral,” it couldn’t be more jagged.

“Mescalito” and “And You Realize You Haven’t Left Yet” are short and sweetened refreshers that are much needed and welcomed. The former is a double-bassed, edgy and intense minute of calamity, while the latter is a sax piece that drives on the repetition of a cathartic lick. Neither shy away from the redundancy that prevails in the other pieces but as adjusted and modified segues into the next journeys, they are justly delivered.

In many ways, some more unfortunate than others, this is an exhausting listen. Maybe spread about by taking a few songs from here to there, this could seem like a doable task. But as a collective unit, Cheer-Accident’s music is complexly opaque. Perhaps this is the driving force behind their success and how its only reached a close-knit family. Then again, with more of the same on Fear Draws Misfortune, maybe that’s the way they want it: familiar and consistent. Both make for a very solid combination.

“According to the Spiral” by Cheer-Accident

Cuneiform Records