Little Blue Soldier

Album review: Cher UK - Little Blue Soldier (EP)

Cher UK has had more lives and iterations than the Saw, Halloween, and Friday the 13th movies combined. It’s the band that won’t die, and we’re all better for it. The recipient of Entertainment Weekly’s Band Name of the Week title for the week of Oct. 1, 1993, Cher UK has been around a couple of decades. 

It is high time the band provide the music-hungry masses with more music to stick on their iPods and phones given the band’s last recording, Berdella, was released about 15 years ago. Thus, Cher UK frontman Mike McCoy and bandmate/bassist Mark Reynolds make good on a promise and bless us with four tracks on the EP Little Blue Soldier. This iteration of Cher UK also includes Bernie Dugan on drums and Michael Stover on lead guitar, with a few special guests along the way.
 
Kicking off the EP is a song by the same name: "Little Blue Soldier." The song quickly reminds the listener of Mike McCoy’s witty songwriting. Take a portion of the chorus: "Must have been a brain lapse, maybe a collapse of your basic synapse. Hey, maybe you’re crazy. You’re tired of thinking and your thinking’s getting lazy," McCoy croons in a peppy tone. Rounding out the song is a bit of brass courtesy of Kyle Dahlquist on trombone and trumpet.
 
Dahlquist also makes a turn on "Peace, Love and Fun in the Sun." This song sounds like the band bought stock in some odd Beach Boys. However, it works out in Cher UK’s favor as the song provides a great beat for dancing and some of the most pleasant musical earworms you’ll ever encounter. "Reagan Versus NoLa" is largely instrumental and written by Reynolds. I imagine that a race car driven by guitars sounds like this song. It’s kept at a solid tempo by the drums. In short, it’s a rush of skilled playing.
 
Cher UK ends the EP with "Denny's After Closing." Serenaded by Betse Ellis’ haunting violin playing, the song evokes memories of legendary nights out in Kansas City and makes you ache for another epic night in in the City of Fountains. People who have experienced a crazy evening in KC should be able to somehow relate this song and if they don't, then they either aren't human or have never really had fun.
 
I recommend getting your hands on the EP and relishing in its sound, wit, and earworms. As a whole, Little Blue Soldier is a little bit pop, a little bit country, and a little bit rock & roll, but nothing like Marie and Donny Osmond—testify! 
 
Cher UK will be releasing a limited-edition copy of Little Blue Soldier at Davey's Uptown this Saturday, October 20. They'll share the stage with Hotdog Skeletons and The Pedaljets. Facebook event here.

--Alicia Houston

Alicia Houston eats toast, drinks coffee and drives a car. Her view on the Oxford comma continually is up for debate. When she’s had a few beers, Alicia impersonates Katherine Hepburn. She has been writing since she was five and listening to music since she was born. She has a tattoo of a gray unicorn. The unicorn gives her advice and daily affirmations.

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