Home / CD Review: Sunny Side of the Moon: The Best of Richard Cheese

CD Review: Sunny Side of the Moon: The Best of Richard Cheese

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Lounge music and rock ‘n’ roll. Dare I say, it’s a match made in heaven.

The bastard child of Bill Murray’s “Starrrrr Waaaaarrrs!” singer from Saturday Night Live, Richard Cheese and his band Lounge Against The Machine take on the heavyweights of alt-rock, from Slipknot to the Beastie Boys to Snoop Dogg, running them through a purifying rinse of sheer lounge-lizard smarm and charm.

Sunny Side culls the best of Cheese’s first three CDs with a selection of new and reworked tunes. It’s a great primer to one of the more oddball talents in music, out there on the fringes of parody with Dread Zeppelin and the godfather of the genre, “Weird Al” Yankovic.

You can’t beat his gloriously offensive cover of Nirvana’s “Rape Me,” which starts off with a sleazy, “This one’s for the ladies!” and ends with a conga-line chorus of “Rape-rape-rape-rape-rape-me!” That right there will give you a clue if you’re in tune with the Cheese-meister. Other highlights on this collection are Cheese’s classic take on Nine Inch Nails’ industrial anthem “Closer” (complete with chorus of “I want to f__k you like an animal”), and a cover of Radiohead’s “Creep” that manages to be the opposite of everything Radiohead’s ever stood for.

It’s all a fine line between wit and worn-out, and the Cheese joke — uncool lounge versions of raunchy, often profane modern tunes — could easily get old fast. Yet what makes this Cheese fresh is how hard they work. He sings the hell out of these goofy songs, and his band gives them the lounge treatment with smooth-flowing skill.

Best Of offers a solid collection of Cheese, even if it’s not all-inclusive. The CD is short enough that a few more tracks could’ve been packed on (I’m partial myself to his covers of Prodigy’s “Smack My Bitch Up” and Guns ‘n’ Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle”). Sure, Cheese is a novelty act, but he’s a darned groovy one. It’s lounge livin’ large, and guaranteed to be the hit of your next party. Or as Cheese himself would say, “Par-tay!”
Edited: [GH]

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About Nik Dirga

  • Nidhogg

    His enthusiasm and the lounge band’s effort make this style of music work, but after a while the kitschiness (this may not be a word, but if it isn’t, it is now) and the draw of this music wears out. This might be an album that needs one of three prerequisites:
    1) One too many drinks,
    2) A group of like-minded friends, or
    3) a band-fanboy that despises lounge music that has been duct-taped to a chair to endure long spouts of aforementioned rock-to-lounge music…

    If you excuse me, I’ve got someone to attend to.

  • Great album cover, too. “This one’s for the ladies”?. I might have to seek this out.

    A few years ago, Todd Rundgren brought out an album of lounge covers of some of his songs–which I saw him perform in Ann Arbor (at a Borders Books convention, so it was free to a captive audience). I’ve always been a fan of his, but this time the novelty wore a little thin after a while. It sounds like Richard Cheese may have done it right.