Rock music is dead, or at least it is gasping on its deathbed. Sunny Side of the Moon collects eighteen omens of its demise. Richard Cheese is a doomsday prophet, the lunatic from old sci-fi movies who stands on the street holding a placard that forecasts the apocalypse and gets laughed at for an hour until he turns out to be right.
Cheese’s ironic lounge lizard renditions of hit rock songs do not impose an external vision on the originals; instead, they reveal a latent corruption in the songs themselves. Even Nine Inch Nails’ brilliant sadomasochist parable “Closer” and Radiohead’s self-pity anthem “Creep” seem to have realized their actual potential on Sunny Side.
Rockers have long pretended that from Led Zeppelin to Dave Matthews, there is something rebellious and genuine about rock, in opposition to styles like Las Vegas lounge music. Well watch out, sinners, judgment day is coming! Here comes Saint Dick, bringing the gospel. Preach, brother, preach.