A combustive mix of glam rock riffs, power pop melodies, and lots of punk energy, Cheap Time are the brainchild of Jeffrey Novak, a Tennessee native who began playing in punk bands in his teens.
His groups include Jeffrey Novak's One Man Band and the ultra-raw Rat Traps; when the Rat Traps retired in 2006, Novak formed Cheap Time with Be Your Own Pet's Jemina Pearl on bass and Nathan Vasquez on drums. This version of the band was heavily influenced by the Runaways and early Redd Kross, and released its debut 7" on Sweet Rot in 2007. Pearl and Vasquez left the band to concentrate on Be Your Own Pet, and were replaced by bassist Stephen Braren and drummer Jon Sewell. The band's sound also shifted: Novak took some songs inspired by glam and power pop acts like the Quick, Sparks, and Milk 'n' Cookies -- which were intended for another project, the Peoploids -- and turned them into Cheap Time songs. Early in 2008, the revamped Cheap Time issued another 7" on Douchemaster in advance of their self-titled full-length on In the Red, which arrived that spring. Ryan Sweeney replaced Sewell on drums starting in 2009, when the band issued the "Woodland Drive"/"Penny & Jenny" single and toured with Yo La Tengo. Cheap Time returned with Fantastic Explanations (And Similar Situations), a slightly more structured and complex set of songs, in 2010. Novak and crew resurfaced in 2012 with Wallpaper Music, an attitude-heavy set of songs recorded in Novak's home studio; the album introduced another new lineup of Cheap Time, with Novak and Sweeney joined by bassist Jessica McFarland. Cheap Time stepped out with a fourth album, Exit Smiles, in 2013, followed by an extensive tour of Europe. ~ Heather Phares, Rovi