Reissue Review: The Cucumbers, “The Fake Doom Years”

Written by Music, Reissue Reviews

Fake Doom Years cover art

I suppose I could go on and on as to why you should immediately download (buy it first, dammit  – these people have families and homes!)  The Cucumbers’ newly released digital compilation of their entire Fake Doom Records output from the ’80’s, the aptly titled The Fake Doom Years.  Start with the fact that these are great, classic, clever pop songs with a sense of humor, intellect, natural-ness, charm and heart.  One of the most wonderfully striking things about The Cucumbers was their unpretentiousness, which came across clearly.  Once you’re immersed in the songs, you’ll understand immediately how good this band was.

Coming from the legendary Hoboken scene, The Cucumbers, driven by Deena Shoshkes and Jon Fried, first struck a chord with me by way of their highly-infectious single “My Boyfriend” around 1983 or so – I can remember hearing it on the radio and thinking, “yes – neat – cool”.  I saw them a few times at various venues (including, of course, Maxwell’s).  But here are the facts – this compilation has 19 tracks; you get what one could consider The Cucumbers’ classics – the aforementioned “My Boyfriend”, “Susie’s Getting Married”, “Who Betrays Me”, “All Shook Up” and so on.  If you dug this band like I did, you’ll appreciate the sound – and the quality – of these songs coming out of your iPod, since that’s where we are in history.

Happily, the 1985-era line-up of the band will reunite for one show only, to celebrate, on May 13, at The Rent Party in Maplewood, New Jersey, so those of you in the area really owe it to yourselves to get there and share this special occasion.  And in the meantime, relive those lighter-hearted moments by downloading this compilation and roll along to “Don’t Watch T.V.”. It’ll make you smile – guaranteed.


The Fake Doom Years is available now