Cherry Choke

'A Night in the Arms of Venus Leads to A Lifetime on Mercury'

(Elektrohasch Schallplatten)

MARK: 85/100


Not too difficult to understand, the metaphor lying behind the title of the sophomore release from the British Garage/Heavy/Psych/Hard rockers fully immerged in the 60s/70s and positively asynchronized to our current times, describes a Victorian gentleman ridden with syphilis after attending and getting lulled by ladies of the night. Back then doctors were accustomed to prescribing mercury to cure the venereal disease with the effect of often intoxicating the takers and leading them to a twisted end.
The opus is actually a real tribute to the big bands of the magic 70s and lyric-wise to the debauchery given by attending such low-life characters.
The decadent trio grouped in 2007 by the unresting genius of former Josiah, The Beginning & The Kings Of Frog Island and Dexter Jones Circus Orchestra kicks off with "Crying out Loud", mixing The Who, MC5, Pretty Things, Blue Cheer and even old Kiss's vocals, while "The Day She Came to Play" insists on Hendrixian guitars and long riffs, effected distant vocals some claimed they sound like coming from under the water), but I have to say the effects for the guitars are often on, too.
Pretty tight and adrenalinic, "Winchester Geese", goes by fast, based on faltering uptempos, followed by "Domino", a classic retro song where the wha-whad guitar solos rush first on the right and then to the left speaker, contrasting the drums, intentionally braked before the crescendos; this composition is so dilated that after its 9 minutes very few won't feel like having a joint of pot!
Also featured on a terrifically vintage video, "Evol" places layers of acoustic and electric guitars in the main structure, hosting acid breaks as well; excellent is the Who-like reprisal with the pulsating bass and the frantic drumwork, emphasizing the protagonist's determination in forsaking that woman and the deriving life. Nowadays only England can give birth to bands offering so outdated a sound, and still of this calibre; a modern nation which hasn't forgotten her roots and her legends, that's the way yous do it!
Between Hawkwind and Cream, "Blue Mass" makes way, rich in typical fuzzy valvolar distortions, anticipating the first slow song out of the 9, "Silver Crossed My Mind", which apparently contains early Pink Floyd's reminiscences owing to backwards guitars and mellotron psychedelia.
The only track whose songwriting adds some more recent elements in the refrain is "I Need Not Know Redemption", but we dive into the past again pretty soon with the closing "Splinters", catchy and displaying the best entwisting between the hypnotic tomwork, the raving drums and the smart guitar plot, attacking and taking back its defence position like a hooded cobra.
Sexy, ecstatic, dirty, groovy, lysergic and built on simple patterns and structures; just the way Rock was originally intended to be.


Current line-up:
Mathew Bethancourt - v., g.
Gregg Hunt - b.
Dan Lockton - d.

Leicester - UK
Official sites:

Cherry Choke (CD/LP - 2009)
-A Night in the Arms of Venus Leads to A Lifetime on Mercury (CD/LP - 2011)