Cherokii – ‘Hurricane’

Two-piece punk n’ roll band, Cherokii, from Oxford, formed June 2015. Tipped as band to watch in 2016, they’re known as one of Oxford’s liveliest live acts. Becoming renowned for their exciting, high-impact presence and performances, they’re now known as ‘Royal Blood on steroids’. Cherokii’s demo ‘Warehouse’ and singles ‘Hurricane’ and ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ have been played on BBC introducing and they’ve also supported Raven Eye and Electric Six on stage. Having already played several gigs at Oxford’s O2 Academy, they’re now confirmed for numerous festivals, including: Wychwood, Common People, Riverside, OXROX and DPM, in Repaix, France. Aiming to move up the ladder, from local to national band to watch, 2017 looks like a big year in the making, for Cherokii.

Hurricane – Immediate rocky intro, moving into an unusually rap-like section, with a bluesy undertone. Easy beat, rolling rhythm, confidently performed; it’s clearly got potential. Echoes of noise and pop rock combined, it’s a sound more reminiscent of chart rock, than heavier fayre, but the audible enthusiasm should compensate and its commercial viability will take it far. A tad repetitive, especially towards the close, would definitely benefit from more focus on injecting individuality and a greater range of notation, but as an early work, it’s a good start.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf – Instantly noticeable intro, with well honed lyrical timing. Very visually evocative of Native American culture, throwing in Tomahawk sound effects and ritual imagery – a unique approach in itself. Again, though, awkward to categorise, genre specifically and as such, hard to place in your imagination, as a live act. However, such one-off styles as this can hold hidden benefits, in memorability terms and there’s often much to be said for acquired tastes. It’s vocally diverse, being equally sung and spoken and the cultural references may reflect the need for more modern socially representative genres within the industry.

Overall – An acquired sound, which though brave in diversifying and differentiating itself from the crowd, could benefit from the use of catchy hooks and inclusion of some standard rock sounds, with which fans could identify. The clashing sounds and influences in each track leave room for confusion too, as it’s initial styles are more generically derivative, whilst the second track leaves the impression of being far more culturally influenced. Given it’s punk n’ roll nature, it’s surprisingly devoid of any discernible punk sound, leaning much more towards the Native American atmosphere. Whilst it may not be for everyone, Cherokii’s music may open up a niche market and succeed in bringing Native American (specific) rock to the masses.

5/10 *****

For fans of cultural niche rock and Native American music in particular.

 

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