From the moment the handsome devils in New Zealand's The Checks start swinging, they've got you. They've pierced your ears with front man Ed Knowles' wake up and listen howl, they've flattened you with Sven Petterson and Callum Martin's stomach churning, power-blues guitar riffs, gone straight for your red hot R&B soul with Karel Chabera Jr and Jacob Moore's royal rhythm, and got you sweating on the dance floor with the ants in their bell bottomed pants stage moves.
Kicking many of their prop up and play indie rock cohorts to the curb, The Checks' swagger is certainly familiar…this kind of vintage vendetta has been done by rock and roll legends before. Yet, of those who have tried to match it over the years, few have come close. Jet tried...that is about all they did. As did the Vines and even the Hives. And while it is entirely too soon to see if a date with destiny is in The Checks cards, this performance at The FADER's CMJ Sideshow, quite simply, demands notice. One click of the play button and you'll undoubtedly be paying them the just due they deserve. - David Pitz
It is one of the music industry's cruel conundrums. Some bands can do what they do, do it damn well, and do it to absolute oblivion without so much as ever tasting a sorry smidge of success in their lives. And while it is certainly a sad tale, it isn't one The Checks need acquaint themselves with anytime in the near future. No, this Carnaby Street craving New Zealand five piece consisting of Ed Knowles, Karrel Chabera, Jacob Moore, Sven Pettersen and Callum Martin have garnered themselves a critical killing, almost from the very get go of their existence. Having met singing in barbershop quartet competitions, an obvious teenage facelift was in order. Now, only two years later, The Checks are a comet-hot, cucumber-cool electric blues and boogey outfit that have been hand picked by Michael Stipe to support REM, impressed Sub Pop boss Jonathan Poneman, won the praise of NME editor Conor McNicholas, and is now busy racking up fans the world over with their blistering live show and a pair of singles, Hunting Whales and What You Heard. – David Pitz