THE CHECKS: Alice by the Moon
By John Paul Carroll
The Checks have been hailed as whizz kids since they rollicked onto the scene as schoolboys a few years back with their unique brand of ’60s rock packaged for today, performed with panache and delivered with gusto. They have returned chastened from an ultimately unsuccessful “band OE” in England, a little older, a lot wiser, and with gold. ‘Alice by the Moon’ is a collection of fully realised musical occurrences that plunder influences from yesteryear to build a sonic raft to transport their semi abstract lyrical ideas. It is foot-tapping stuff that crucially plants its seed in the listener’s ear, then proceeds to seep into the brain and demand a return for repeated plays. The stand out track for me has to be Back of the Restaurant, a laid back yet meaningfully performed piece of music that combines the energy of youth and the wisdom of experience that The Checks have been blessed with. Perhaps that is the magic ingredient, that unique element that permeates through ‘Alice by the Moon’ to give it that extra little bit of something, and make it one of the standout rock albums of 2009.