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Cheer-Accident biography
Originally formed in 1981 by Chicago-based pianist and drummer Thymme Jones, Cheer-Accident has maintained an impressively eclectic approach to music-making throughout their lengthy career, releasing a slew of albums that range in style from noise rock to avant-prog to pop. Unsurprisingly for a band that has been active for well over twenty years, the line-up has shifted on more than one occasion (including the tragic and untimely loss of their then-guitarist Phil Bonnet in 1999), but throughout their career Cheer-Accident have continued to produce challenging and unique music; constantly refusing to pin themselves down to a single genre.

2009 saw the release of Fear Draws Misfortune on Cuneiform Records. A punchy, dark and consistently challenging slice of avant-prog, this album alone more than justifies their inclusion in these archives. Other albums of particular interest to avant-prog fans include 1988's Sever Roots Tree Dies and the more recent Introducing Lemon.

Comparisons to Thinking Plague and other American RIO-tinged avant-prog bands are justified but they do little to capture the utterly unique spirit and sound of this band. Highly recommended for fans of complex (but uncluttered), highly-composed and unpredictable avant-prog.

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Putting Off DeathPutting Off Death
Audio CD$9.94
$16.47 (used)
Trading Balloons: RemasteredTrading Balloons: Remastered
Skin Graft Records 2017
Audio CD$9.58
$9.57 (used)
Introducing LemonIntroducing Lemon
Skin Graft Records 2003
Audio CD$9.87
$5.66 (used)
No Ifs, Ands Or DogsNo Ifs, Ands Or Dogs
Audio CD$9.99
$6.80 (used)
Fear Draws MisfortuneFear Draws Misfortune
Audio CD$14.26
$5.00 (used)
Not a FoodNot a Food
Pravda Records 1996
Audio CD$5.99
$1.40 (used)
Salad DaysSalad Days
Skin Graft Records 2003
Audio CD$32.09
$11.92 (used)
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CHEER ACCIDENT Not A Food CD Shellac Dazzling Killmen Fantomas Colossamite USD $5.49 Buy It Now 5 days
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Variations on a Goddamn Old Man by Cheer-Accident (CD, 2002, Pravda Records) USD $4.99 Buy It Now 5 days
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Trading Balloons [9/8] by Cheer-Accident (CD, Sep-2017, Skin Graft Records) USD $8.94 Buy It Now 8 days
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Fear Draws Misfortune * by Cheer-Accident (CD, Jan-2009, Cuneiform Records) USD $12.81 Buy It Now 29 days
Putting Off Death - Cheer-Accident 045775044620 (CD Used Like New) USD $13.83 Buy It Now 29 days
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CHEER-ACCIDENT discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

CHEER-ACCIDENT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.84 | 13 ratings
Sever Roots, Tree Dies
3.86 | 9 ratings
Dumb Ask
4.50 | 9 ratings
Babies Shouldn't Smoke
3.93 | 8 ratings
The Why Album
3.83 | 10 ratings
Not a Food
3.90 | 10 ratings
Enduring The American Dream
2.41 | 15 ratings
Salad Days
4.09 | 19 ratings
Introducing Lemon
3.33 | 6 ratings
Gumballhead The Cat
3.10 | 10 ratings
What Sequel?
3.86 | 35 ratings
Fear Draws Misfortune
3.79 | 14 ratings
No Ifs, Ands or Dogs
4.00 | 11 ratings
Putting Off Death

CHEER-ACCIDENT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

CHEER-ACCIDENT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

CHEER-ACCIDENT Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.33 | 3 ratings
Variations On A Goddamn Old Man
3.00 | 3 ratings
Variations On A Goddamn Old Man Vol. 2

CHEER-ACCIDENT Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Putting Off Death by CHEER-ACCIDENT album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.00 | 11 ratings

Putting Off Death
Cheer-Accident RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars Six years after their last album, 'No Ifs, Ands or Dogs', Cheer-Accident are back with their eighteenth studio album. During the last thirty years they have had something of a fluid line-up (including members who don't actually perform with the band, or do normally but don't play on this album), and there are fourteen musicians credited here, but at the heart of it there has always been Jeff Libersher (guitar, trumpet, vocals, keyboards) and Thymme Jones (drums, vocals, piano, trumpet, keyboards, acoustic and electric guitars, moog, noise). I think the most polite way to describe their music to a newcomer would be "eclectic", with some RIO thrown in for good measure. They've conjure up a unique collage of intricate prog, lush pop and experimental noise, drawing on the disparate influences of Pere Ubu, King Crimson, Can, Art Bears, Wire, early Genesis and Yes, and the more Baroque leaps of the Beatles and the Beach Boys without ever settling on a sound that could be definitively traced to any of them in isolation.

Take opening number "Language Is" for example, which starts off a piano and vocal number, but just when the listener feels that they know what is going on and settles back in their comfy chair, all sorts of weird stuff starts happening so that by the end of the eleven-minute-long epic they end up scratching their head asking "what on earth just happened?". This is progressive rock that really is, refusing to conform to any ideal of what the sound should be like, but organically playing and experimenting with the music until the band themselves understand what they have before them. However, unlike many others operating within this particular musical sphere there is often a great deal of melody, and the music makes logical sense. But don't relax too much, as there are also plenty of times when it doesn't, but does, if you get what I mean.

Yet again Cuneiform are working with a band (this is their third album on the label) that the mainstream music industry wouldn't touch with a barge pole, and all of us who hear this are much the richer for the experience.

 No Ifs, Ands or Dogs by CHEER-ACCIDENT album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.79 | 14 ratings

No Ifs, Ands or Dogs
Cheer-Accident RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

4 stars Cheer-Accident is an American band started in 1981 and so far?. Impossible to categorise. Each album is different. No Ifs, Ands Or Dogs (2011) is their latest effort and their 17th album released by Cuneiform Records. In this album they still experimenting away with pretty much everything. We have pop accents in 'Drag You Down' and 'Barely Breathing' (my favorite). 'Trial Of Errors' is electronic. 'Sleep' is Garage Rock. 'Life In Pollyanna' is Pop Punk. Then you have some Prog Rock in 'Salad Dies'.

I liked the album very much, most because there's so many different elements in it. But be warned, No Ifs, Ands Or Drogs (2011) is for the ones that have an open mind to music.

Key Track: Barely Breathing

 Not a Food by CHEER-ACCIDENT album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.83 | 10 ratings

Not a Food
Cheer-Accident RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by irrelevant
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

4 stars Cheer-Accident's fifth release, and a return to their "typical" sound after the rather poppy The Why Album. Not a Food marks a return to the dissonant chords, guitar interplay and odd time sigs found in previous albums such as Dumb Ask and Babies Shouldn't Smoke. They all share their differences though, and this one seems to have the most inane sections some consider to be filler. This could be a good thing for the RIO/Avant-Prog newbie who enjoys non sequitur humor, as these sections could help serve as good breaks from the dense composition found in most of the rest of the album (in my experience). Those fully accustomed to the complex may find these parts a bit unnecessary.

Things start off great with 'Even Has a Half-Life', a noisy, jazzy, distortion laden track that has a middle section made up of noise and a funny spoken part. 'Grow' is a bit more conventional and sounds like something that could have been on Dumb Ask. 'Modestly Clothed, Did She Trouble you?' is some more good mathy noise rock. 'Nutrition' occasionally borders on metal, using drop D tuning and Thymme Jones screaming the short and brief verse. A change of pace comes with '30 Seconds Of Weightlessness', it's actually 11 minutes and is a post-rock kind of track. 'Ice Cream And Lies' brings the album back up to speed, and like 'Nutrition' is kind of grungy in parts, possibly the highlight of the album. 'King Cheezamin' is a zany number and could be considered a filler track, nothing great but it is kind of funny. 'Grow II' is a surprisingly conventional instrumental, nothing really interesting happens the entire time and just cuts out. The final track, 'Evan Had a Shelf Life' takes the first 2 or so minutes of the first track and glitches it to the max as if the CD was taken to by a knife. Hmm, seems to kind of drop off at the end. Anyway, still enjoyable if you're in the mood for some math-rock mixed with some good drivel (there is such a thing!) 3.5 stars, rounded up.

Favourite Tracks: 'Ice Cream and Lies', 'Even Has a Half-Life', 'Nutrition'.

 The Why Album by CHEER-ACCIDENT album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.93 | 8 ratings

The Why Album
Cheer-Accident RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by irrelevant
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

4 stars To say this is a bit of a change of sound from their previous album is an understatement. With The Why Album, Cheer-Accident show their other side and go fully pop with this one...... Uncharacteristically straightforward pop. But not to worry, as this is up to the standard of their best releases, and I'll explain:

It's very well written. Thymme & Co can really write an infectious melody, extremely catchy and fun to sing along to, and the songs never get boring or overstay their welcome and are interesting enough to keep my attention. Perfect...... Although things can get a little too sweet and cheesy occasionally, like the song 'Postscript' for example, and this is the element that kept me from fully enjoying this album for a while, but I eventually got used to it and now that's not really much of a problem.

Overall this album is very good. Performances are top notch as always and a different bassist helped the sound considerably, no super fuzz here! Those seeking avant-prog within the Cheer-Accident discography should look elsewhere. Don't ignore this one though, it's still good.

Favourite tracks: 'Sub Herbs', 'Today Today Today', 'Driving a Nail With a Clock', 'Where You Are'.

 Babies Shouldn't Smoke by CHEER-ACCIDENT album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.50 | 9 ratings

Babies Shouldn't Smoke
Cheer-Accident RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by irrelevant
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

5 stars Cheer-Accident's third release and it is in my opinion the best and most consistent out of their three dissonant, complex alternative rock albums (Dumb Ask and Not A Food being the other two that seem to be loosely related). With this they keep the buzzing guitars (and bass!), that distant echoed snare and varied vocals previously heard on Dumb Ask, and add a new darker dimension to it. Phil Bonnet also joined on guitar so there's a fuller sound.

Right from the get go you're pushed into some strange house where some deeply stressed people live. Alot of instrumental sections are like going into one's bottled up anger, mental illness or nausea but often doesn't sound thrashy or desperate, just kind of demented. This album is not without humour though, oh no, this is Cheer-Accident we're talking about! 'The Butterfly Effect' starts out with a funny answering machine message and the guy talking at the start of 'Flies In The Amber' always cracks me up. Neither is this album devoid of "pop" too, you've got the wonderful 'People Are Props' (very well written proggy pop) and the piano sections of 'Playschool' that aren't exactly inaccessible. Every track is very good (and extremely well performed), no filler here.

The only problems I have with this album are: 1) The completely weird production. I don't know, could have just been the sound they were going for. And 2) The bass that at times has no depth to it and is often difficult to distinguish from the guitar, but again, it could have just been on purpose.

All in all a very good album which is sadly overlooked (even within the C-A discography). And those coming from Fear Draws Misfortune or Introducing Lemon to this one may find a bit of style change.

Favourite tracks: 'So Sorry About China', 'The Butterfly Effect', 'People Are Props', 'Head Of Gumby', 'Ignorance Moving Sideways', 'Flies In The Amber'.

EDIT: 5 stars, this is a masterpiece!

 Dumb Ask by CHEER-ACCIDENT album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.86 | 9 ratings

Dumb Ask
Cheer-Accident RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by irrelevant
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

4 stars This album captures Cheer-Accident's more abrasive side and is the first of their three noise rock/math rock albums. Certainly a change of sound from their predecessor- 'Sever Roots Tree Dies', which has more of an avant prog overtone. The 8 tracks on this album are rather dissonant and tritonic (think red era king Crimson but with a 90s grunge feel) and only guitar, bass, drums and vocals fill the mix making this the simplest instrumentation on a C-A album. Fans of math rock should check out this album as it is cited as one of the earliest in the genre. (Recorded before the first Don Caballero album and the influential 'Spiderland' by Slint.) Cheer-Accident's second album (well, third if you count 'Life Isn't Like That') is certainly a good one, but their next, 'Babies Shouldn't Smoke' is even better.

Favourite tracks: Fat Dog's Gonna Hatch, Garbage Head, Everyone's Ugly Up Close.

4 stars

 Salad Days by CHEER-ACCIDENT album cover Studio Album, 2000
2.41 | 15 ratings

Salad Days
Cheer-Accident RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TheGazzardian
Prog Reviewer

2 stars This is my most confusing Cheer-Accident album to date. Although on it, I can hear hints of what would later become "Introducing Lemon", this album consists mostly of music that is very hard for me to define. I suspect those in the know would classify this as a noise rock album, or perhaps even math rock; but such can only be a guess from me, who knows very little about either of these genres other than small doses here and there.

The meat of this album consists in the two longer tracks, the first Graphic Depression and the closer, Salad Days. The opener is a long, mostly instrumental track, that uses a lot of volume contrast. It is often lead by odd guitar tones but occasionally cuts out to let Thymme's falsetto ring through. He sings so quietly that I actually have to turn up my volume to make up what he's saying - a risky move when the guitars could return at any moment. The track meanders into a quiet ending with slow, rising high tones. Overall, this track ranges between interesting and confusing, and I often feel lost by the end of it.

The next three tracks are - well - something odd. It's almost as if the band broke apart the first track to create two of them; the second (and much shorter) Graphic Depression sounds like the vocals from the first made more audible and than chipmunk-ized and distorted. Odd indeed, but too short to do much more than baffle.

Post-Premature, the 4th track on the album, also borrows from the title track. This one is a pretty piano piece, yet the progression of notes is similar to the prior-mentioned rise of notes in the long Graphic Depression.

Insomnia is the only track that I haven't yet quite figured out the reference to the opener yet, and perhaps there isn't one. This one is a drum-based track with a bit of vocals.

This leads us all to the closing title track, a 20 minute suite that is ultimately about as wandering as the opener yet somehow feels much stronger. It is graced with a bit more horn playing, and although I really can't find words to describe the journey this one takes you on, I can only say that I find it oddly enjoyable pretty much from beginning to end. In an odd way, it's almost a hypnotic listen, and great for listening when you want to concentrate.

In the end, this is an album that leaves me baffled, one that I don't feel I've done justice describing, yet at the same time one that I can listen to back to back multiple times no problem. Very odd but not in a typically avant way.

 Sever Roots, Tree Dies by CHEER-ACCIDENT album cover Studio Album, 1988
3.84 | 13 ratings

Sever Roots, Tree Dies
Cheer-Accident RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TheGazzardian
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The debut full length-album by Cheer-Accident, Sever Root Tree Dies, once again is a pretty different slice of music than what I have heard from them before. Other than Fear Draws Misfortune, this one sounds the most like Avant-Prog to my ears, yet beyond that the similarities between the two end. As the name suggests, this album has a much more violent sound to it. The music often sounds like it is being driven forward recklessly, especially on tracks such as Avoid the Invisible. You can clearly recognise Thymme's voice on this record, but he shares vocal duties with Chris Block, and either there is distortion on the vocals a lot of the time or they were just recorded oddly, but it adds to the aggressive feel of this album.

Surprisingly, there are only three members playing on this album - a fact that can be hard to believe while listening, for it sounds like there are at least 5 or 6 guys in the studio.

Compositionally this album is quite excellent. The tracks move from idea to idea, but in a very purposeful way. This is especially clear in the opener, "Fight For Innocence", which starts off with a nice, peaceful piano line, that slowly grows more and more angular as other instruments are added and the theme changes subtly.

Speaking of piano, Thymme is quite a talented player. Typically the piano lines are quite pretty, but this juxtaposition with the rest of Cheer-Accidents music (which is much less peaceful) really adds a unique flavor to this album. Severed is another place on the album where his pianos really shine.

Unfortunately, a couple of tracks suffer from repetitive end syndrome. I once again cite Avoid the Invisible, which at the end repeats the same sound for close to a full minute.

Cheer-Accident aren't a band without a sense of humour, as the track of the second-to-last track, "Cutting Off My Arm So I Don't Have To Shake Hands", reveals.The track itself is in fact one of the catchier ones off the album, a fast guitar riff really giving it a boost of energy, especially when combined with the rest of the Cheer-Accident sound (on this album).

I'm four albums into Cheer-Accident's discography, and don't quite know what to expect from their next one. What I do know is that so far, each one has succeeded in sounding fresh and unique, and this one is no exception. Very enjoyable.

 What Sequel? by CHEER-ACCIDENT album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.10 | 10 ratings

What Sequel?
Cheer-Accident RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TheGazzardian
Prog Reviewer

3 stars What Sequel? Is supposed to be the follow up to Cheer-Accident's 1994 album, The Why Album; it is supposed to be a Cheer-Accident "pop" album. The question is, are Cheer- Accident even capable of pop music?

Admittedly, I approached this album with a small amount of trepidation. Cheer-Accident is such a master of weird noises that I was truly hoping this album would be full of songs in the vein of "The Day After I Never Met You" off the previous album, Introducing Lemon. That song married catchiness, odd lyrics, and unique instrumentation in a way that was, in my ears, perfect.

This album does not quite follow that path. The song are ever-so-slightly more normal than anything on Introducing Lemon. And while there are instrumental breaks, they work around the vocals, instead of being given a lot of space like on the previous album. In short, my third foray into Cheer-Accidents discography was yet another album that sounded like nothing I had heard by them before.

The music here does not grab you as quick as pop music you will hear on the radio; very few of the tracks on the album stood out on the first listen, and there were not anthemic choruses to blast, no beats to dance to. Yet, song-structure wise, this album is not too far from pop- music, with choruses and verses, and a lot of singing.

The lucky news here is that the singing here is actually quite nice, in it's own unique way. His voice is quite unique, and although his normal register singing could be described as an acquired taste, when he hits the higher register, the amount of emotion conveyed is quite impressive.

After a few listens, some real gems begin to make themselves apparent. Keep In Touch, the opener, is a song about people from the past taking up space in the singers mind; it is almost awkward yet at the same time, the song from this album that gets stuck in my mind the most often. And it immediately contains proof that Cheer-Accident are still the same, odd band we've come to know and love, with "Boing boing boing boing" being sung in the background at various points.

You Know, You Know is a touching ballad song where the vocals really shine, backed by the horn section in a quite effective way. Nefarious Designs, Inc. has catchy, ringing guitars. Crazy features the band repeating the word "Crazy" for over a minute straight, yet it is surprisingly effective in the context of the song and the song itself is one of the catchier moments on the album.

The album does feature a lot of guitar, but it does not sound like typical - anything, really. This is just Cheer-Accident, making the music they want to make, for which we all are thankful.

The cover of the album is a little bit puzzling at first, but once you look at the liner notes, you see that they have taken a photograph (the same one used for the cover of The Why Album) and applied various effects to it. On the cover, the result of these effects is that the photograph is taken up almost completely by negative space. Perhaps not the most aesthetically pleasing, but definitely interesting.

In the end, this album does not reach the heights of Introducing Lemon or Fear Draws Misfortune, but for anyone who already likes the band, it is worth picking up, and you can't really go wrong owning this album - although I would still recommend "Fear Draws Misfortune" as the starting point if you are looking to get into this Chicago-based band.

 Introducing Lemon by CHEER-ACCIDENT album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.09 | 19 ratings

Introducing Lemon
Cheer-Accident RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TheGazzardian
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Cheer Accident are a band who seem to have no desire to be anything but what they are in a single moment of time. In 2009, they released Fear Draws Misfortune, on Cuneiform, bringing them in front of the eyes (and ears) of a myriad of pro listeners. But the band had been around for over twenty years prior to that, and released an impressive array of music in the meantime.

Introducing Lemon is a surprisingly interesting album. Musically, it has very little to do with what the band was doing on fear draws misfortune. This I perceive as a refreshing fact and an open invitation to dive into the rest of their work. A band who is willing to reinvent themselves still after so many years is a band with a true creative spirit, and that is something that Really appeals to me.

Where fear draws misfortune was full of hooks, catchy moments, and an amazing eclectic variety, Introducing Lemon finds the band playing music that is driven more by the guitars and rather unconventional singing. The album is also typified by a sense of space, which yields several more drawn out passages. When comparing the two albums, this can lead to the impression that lemon is less focussed. The music is not as easy to get into, and despite the fact that it may seem repetitive at times, is actually much more challenging than anything on Fear...

There are a variety of sounds on this album, but what we have the most of is oft-repeated themes that slowly develop into new themes, by the addition of a new element, the fading out of an old, or the altering of an existing. There are also many cases where the band will suddenly switch gears without any warning.

The album is over seventy minutes long, and with two tracks over twenty minutes, can be quite a tiring experience due to the sheer length of this music. Without any frame of reference for the sounds I was hearing, my brain was often quite taxed by the time the music came to an end. Yet, despite the fact that there was often a gap between listens, I found myself returning to this one time and again, and each time enjoying it more than the last. That on its own is a considerable feat. Over time, I find myself enjoying this album even more than Fear, despite the fact that Fear is much more accessible.

Highlights: I love the unique vocals on this one, while at times they can sound somewhat normal (part of while reminds me of the Barenaked Ladies), it's the unique almost tortured voice like on Camp o Physique and Track 29 that really stands out. There are also some great vocals in The Day After I Never Met You.

Camp o Physique is on it's own a rather amusing track, built on top of a simple bass riff and what sounds to me like one of the preprogrammed beats on a Casio Keyboard. Despite that, this song leaves no doubt as to the creative power of the band. It simply must be heard to be understood.

The Day after I Never Met You has the most catchy part of the album in the intro.

Lastly, I must mention the amazing Find. The Autumn Wind Is A Pirate might seem an obvious selection as the better 20 minute piece, with it's constantly shifting mood, but I actually find I enjoy the closing track more. Even the 8 minute section where the band oh so slowly and carefully develops a simple theme. It is as if they are saying, we have all the time we need, what's the rush? What we have to say is important enough to say the right way. So just chill and enjoy.

And, in the end, that's what this album is about. Once it clicks, that's what you'll do - you'll chill and enjoy.

Downsides: requires multiple listens to enjoy fully, and it is a long album.

Final words: unless you are convinced you will love this album, try Fear Draws Misfortune first, so when you listen to this album, you will understand that it is worth the repeated listens. But once it reaches the point where the album makes sense, it will pay off immensely.

Thanks to trouserpress for the artist addition.

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