Swing isn’t king anymore, at least in the mainstream music industry, and the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies seem to realize and accept that. These pioneers of the late ‘90s swing movement will be forever known for their toe-tapping album Zoot Suit Riot, which spawned the immensely popular hit single of the same name.
However, the group builds off their past swing roots while taking fans on a more intricate musical time warp. Such is the case on tracks like “Grand Mal” and “My Mistake”. The first fuses acoustic guitars to a booming drum beat while the later takes a stab at Motown-era soul.
The group is careful not to relive their past incarnation, but rather expand on their old swinging sounds. There is a bit of classic swing-influenced rhythms on the album, like on the opening cut “Diamond Like Boogie”.
“Bleeding Ceremony” is by far the group’s most risky material. The sound is the hardest rock based track on the album and sounds like something from the ‘80s, perhaps something Def Leppard or Bon Jovi would attempt. Such variety is not new to the band, as they’ve often mixed things up on each project over the last 10 years.
Soul Caddy marks the group’s second release on Mojo Records. The album was produced by vocalist and guitarist Steve Perry. Perry was joined by Jack Joseph, who has worked with The Verve Pipe, Aimee Mann, and the Black Crowes on “Diamond Light Boogie.”
The only downfall of the album is that fans wanting to go back to the Zoot Suit Riot days will be disappointed. They will probably be unwilling to accept the Daddies’ genre hopping and will feel the group is abandoning the genre they recently helped revive.
Perhaps those fans will change their minds if they get to see the band live. On their last tour, the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies dazzled audiences nationwide with a high energy, action packed set. Most of the material from Soul Caddy will make an exciting transition from the CD to the stage.
// Notes from the Road
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