Cheap Sex - Written in Blood (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Cheap Sex

Written in Blood (2006)


Not musically progressing but still managing to put out great records is no easy feat. People get sick of hearing the same sound (Pennywise) or have the band simply incapable of using the same ingredients more than once to create an engaging result (Pennywise).

Cheap Sex, luckily, bring the same politically-minded and socially-charged punk rock sounds of their prior efforts to Written in Blood, and it sounds as good now as ever before.

Every rollicking riff and infectious chorus is joined by biting social commentary and absolutely incensed vocals that create an atmosphere buzzing with intensity. The band is at their absolute best on short tracks where they can take the blitzkrieg approach and just don't let go of it. On an album where intensity is at a premium, they've found a way to keep it up even during long tracks like "Paranoia." A lot of that can be attributed to the guitarists, who shred and sledgehammer their way to the forefront song in and song out. Completely indiscriminate as to pace, duration, or any other element of the specific track, they go all out to create the most volatile and unforgiving environment possible for the music.

The buzzing distortion and jarring riffs of "Psychopath" are a perfect compliment to the flash and soloing of "Rage and Revenge," but in either case, they make sure that not a single bit of energy is wasted and not a single second goes unused. There's no unnecessary intros or instances of slowdown. There's no need for diversity when what's done is done so well. All 34 minutes are packed with an anger and a talent that strikes the perfect punk rock mix.

Unforgivingly in-your-face and unabashedly gritty, Cheap Sex have struck gold yet again with their infectious yet devastating punk rock salvos. Armchair politicians, move aside, here's a band not only with something to say but the motivation to put it out there.