Cheers Elephant

These days, Cheers Elephant has a lot to cheer about. The Philadelphia-based quartet is set to release Like Wind Blows Fire on May 8th; it will be the band’s third album since it came together in 2007. Leading up to the album’s release, the band wrapped up a national tour, played a Free At Noon show last Friday, staged three performances on Record Store Day, and plans on dropping the album at a show at the Apple Store on Walnut on the release day. The group’s self-described “raw, rootsy, psychedelic pop rock” has sold out Philadelphia shows in the past, and—judging by the new album’s sound at the Free At Noon—they’ll likely continue doing so for the foreseeable future.

Like Wind Blows Fire finds the boys sounding less rootsy and psychedelic, and more beach rock. With three-person harmonies and simple, upbeat, drum-based songs, Like Wind Blows Fire sounds like a cross between The Strokes’ melodies and Local Natives’ harmonies. They released a music video for Like Wind Blows Fire’s “Doin’ It Right”, which has racked up over 15,000 views since it premiered on April 10th. They also added two additional band members for upcoming tours, which now involve two drummers. (The second drummer is primarily for bongos, but occasionally he doubles up on Roberto Kingston’s drum set.)

The members of Cheers Elephant may seem like a scraggly bunch armed only with “the best haircuts in indie rock” (according to their website), but they pack a serious punch. What sells out shows and keeps the front of the stage lined with gleeful high-school girls is Cheers Elephant’s youthful energy. The group has “a friendship dating back to kindergarten and includ[es] two cousins,” according to the band’s site, and the tight-knit friendships translate into a tight, outrageously fun performance. The band members tease and praise each other on stage, for instance trying to get the audience to cheer Kingston out of a literal slump (he was slumped over his drum set, exhausted) six songs into the set. It doesn’t hurt either that Derek Krzywicki does pinwheels and runs in place throughout the entire show, whether he’s playing guitar, singing, or shouting. The group joked that they’re usually “a lot more energetic” when they’re not playing at noon, and that, while their shirts are always soaked with sweat, a “wet shirt with blood is the thermometer of rock and roll.” We’re glad that no one bled through their button-downs; it was impressive enough to see how they got the crowd moving so early in the day. If this is what Cheers Elephant can do with an eight-song set at noon, that’s something we can get behind (and cheer for). –Naomi Shavin

Set List:
Shark Attack
Doin’ It Right
Fallin’ Out
Party On Darwin
Thought and Commonsense
Like Wind Blows Fire

A Pocket Full Of Change
The Weight (The Band cover, in honor of Levon Helm)