Cherry Creek CD, 2011
The winter of 2010/2011 was a bitch for some of us. After spending a night in a mental care institution, Russ came out and made a concept album about his experience. The tone of the songs is dark but not bleak. Sad, but not hopeless. “I’ve Given Up Again” opens with Gilmour-esque acoustic strumming. “I’m Only Happy When I Cry” picks up the pace, somewhat, and deploys a stabbing line of synth octaves. I like the frantic vibe of “Short-Term Disability”. The production job is impressive, as usual. Note-perfect, clean as a bell. What? “I’m a spoiled little bitch and I don’t want to work anymore,” goes this one, titled “I Don’t Wanna Work Anymore.” “And I Think” is funky and fun, like Bjorn, John and John. “When Will The Drugs Take Effect?” is a moody, eight minute epic that’s something like Jane’s Addiction meets New Order or something, and the drumming is rad. “Cherry Creek” is the book-end, a companion piece to th opening song, except it builds up into a whole big coda thing. Another damn fine release from Sted.
Ian C Stewart