Cheap Girls are back with a new full-length album, Famous Graves, out today (Tuesday, May 13) on Xtra Mile Recordings. They also have a few tours this summer too: one with Andrew Jackson Jihad and another with The Hold Steady.

Here’s a review of their newest LP.

The Michigan band's new album is out now via Xtra Mile Recordings.

If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.

Recorded in Grand Rapids, Mich. and Chicago, Ill., the simple rock ‘n’ roll format the band — guitarist Adam Aymor, singer/bassist Ian Graham and drummer Ben Graham — adopted over three previous LPs is in full effect here. “Knock Me Over”, about Ian’s knee surgery a few years ago, immediately starts the toe-tapping with the tapping of a high hat and a lightly strummed, crunchy electric guitar. The interplay between a chimey, ringing guitar cushioned next to a crunchy, riff-driving one is neat. This provides a melody to hum along to while heads still bob along.

“Pure Hate,” recorded a few years ago for a split with New York’s Lemuria, reappears here. I loved the track the first time I heard it and I love it all over again here. Ben’s playing is driving yet smooth and great to air-drum to. Ian’s vocal of “I only want to stare you down” is a monster hook. Aymor’s guitar solo is simple and driven by the overall melody and chord progression. The palm-muted guitar ending is a great cap to a fantastic song, even if it’s already been recorded and released once.

Ian’s vocals — from being charmingly uncomfortable on their debut to being recorded in one take on Giant Orange — have become one of my favorite things about the band. Sure, I love a loud guitar and a pounding set of drums just as much as the next guy but the vocal melody and delivery are something the band and Ian don’t take for granted. As he sings “I’d do anything to lose the pain” on “Knock Me Over”, the sincerity and catchiness of his delivery is a subtle mark of how much he’s developed into his role as a singer. The same goes for “Man in Question”. He can take his voice from a middle register to a higher, more emotive one in an instant. The “Woah-ohs” in the bridge are excellent, too.

Again: if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. In fact, they’re not only an accomplished, polished and working unit but are improving with each new LP they release.