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TonyDoug's CD Reviews: Cheating Kay, Kitchens & Bathrooms, Shut-IN

by TonyDoug Wright

Cheating Kay, Concept (House of Tears Sound, 2002)

THE BAND: Tom Mueller (Vocals and Guitar), Curt Cuscino (Guitar and Programming), Mark Lomas (Drums) and Sarah Mueller (Vocals and Keyboard).

THE HISTORY: The beginnings of Cheating Kay can be traced back to a songwriting session featuring Tom Mueller and Curt Cuscino. Mueller was an acoustic performer while Cuscino had played in the successful Kansas City based band Paragon Null. Sarah Mueller joined soon thereafter and Cheating Kay took off. While Cheating Kay was conquering the musical world of Columbia, MO, they begged (uh, I mean recruited) drummer Mark Lomas to complete their band. If you wish to check out their music, or if you want to learn more about Cheating Kay, just go to

THE REVIEW: When I first listened to Concept, I immediately drew a comparison to the Cincinnati, OH band Over The Rhine. Cheating Kay blends folk, jazz and rock to create a decent debut CD. Tom and Sarah Mueller successfully share the lead vocal responsibility while neither vocalist outperforms the other. Tom's best effort is "Sword, Sword," while Sarah's best effort is "You Can Never Get Out".


Kitchens & Bathrooms, Utter a Sound (Sonic Unyon 2002)

THE BAND: Adrian Murchison (Bass), Lee Penrose (Drums and Vocals) and Phil Williams (Guitar and Vocals).

THE HISTORY: Formed in Hamilton, Ontario in 1998, kitchens & bathrooms have released two full-length albums: Thousand Yard Stare (2000) and utter a sound (2002).

THE REVIEW: From time to time I have heard the term "math rock" used to describe certain indie rock bands. While reading the kitchens & bathrooms bio, I noticed that they fit the genre of "math rock". Finally, I was about to hear what the "math rock" buzz was about. After listening to utter a sound, I am somewhat disappointed. Overall, the album was a tad bit bland and repetitive. "Palm Wrinkle" is the best track on the album, but unfortunately it was the only track that captured my attention.

TO CONTACT THE BAND: Sonic Unyon Records,

Shut-In, Would Never Hope Happen EP (Kosher Rock Records 2002)

THE BAND: Zak Hanna (Guitar), Josh McCoppen (Drums), Joey Meyer (Guitar) and Craig Thompson (Bass and Vocals).

THE HISTORY: Craig Thompson and Joey Meyer formed Shut-IN in 2001. The band was completed when Josh McCoppen and Zak Hanna joined. Would Never Hope Happen is the band's debut CD. For more information on the band, check out

THE REVIEW: Angst-filled vocals, dissonant guitars and heavy hitting drumming makes Would Never Hope Happen an interesting listen. I was not impressed with the CD on the first listen, but I like this CD a little more every time I play it into the stereo. "Fourth of July" and "Army Song" are the strongest tracks on the album.

TO CONTACT THE BAND: Kosher Rock Records, PO Box 32, Station P, Toronto, ON M5S 2S6

ATTENTION: If you want me to review your band's material, please e-mail me at

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