Cherry Glazerr – Apocalipstick

2017 has already been a whirlwind, which is what makes Cherry Glazerr’s appropriately titled Apocalipstick more relevant than ever. In this day and age what we need is simple: good rock music.

Four years ago Los Angeles rock outfit Cherry Glazerr began with then 15-year-old singer/guitarist Clementine Creevy, Hannah Uribe, and Sean Redman. But in their short duration they have faced personnel changes and the trio is now backed by Tabor Allen and Sasami Ashwort. Despite the new transition, Cherry Glazerr effortlessly shines in their sophomore album.

Their debut record Haxel Princess was a lighthearted and unhindered view of juvenile dispatches. While promising, it never managed to hit the surface, lacking the confidence that Creevy possesses today. Creevy, who is now 19, is a grown up reflection of fierceness and fearlessness in her music.

In Apocalipstick the trio have presented us with their most glistening recordings yet. Full of furious howls, jangling distortions, sick riffs, and swaggerous girl power all packed into 34 glorious minutes. It may not be their first album, but feels like their first proper album.

Opener “Told You I’d Be With the Guys” features all of the staple Cherry Glazzer sounds we’ve known to love. Creevy’s fluent howling behind a groovy guitar riff that builds into a solidified rock n’ roll  anthem. Let’s not get it twisted though, they are not one trick ponies.

In the mellowest track off Apocalipstick “Nuclear Bomb” Creevy delicately repeats “All the souls are swimming in the bathtub,” in a cry for validation, with the sounds of an acoustic guitar and a bubbly synth beaming in the background. “Trash People” expresses unbridling millennial self awareness where Creevy admits her room smells like an ashtray and she wears her underpants three days in a row.

Other highlights include “Instagratification” surf guitar nostalgia and the re-recordings of fan favorites “Nurse Ratched” and “Sip O’ Poison”.

Apocalipstick is fun, unpretentious, and refreshing rock n’ roll.

B+

 

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Listen to Arcade Fire’s newest single “I Give You Power”

It’s been four long years since we’ve seen new music from the beloved Arcade Fire. This week the band returns with “I Give You Power,” a collaboration with gospel legend Mavis Staples.

The track itself implements a menacing disco beat with a slightly dark edge. They explore cloudy territory as the synths cast a shadow over the ominous undertones the song presents. Mavis Staples empowering vocals add an extra layer that entices the tune.

Released on the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration, there’s no doubt that the song has political implications. When the band shared the track, they attached a brief statement: “It’s never been more important that we stick together & take care of each other.”

All proceeds will benefit ACLU.org
Listen below!

Foxygen – Hang

If The Beatles classic concept album Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band and Meatloaf’s pinnacle rock opera Bat Out of Hell made a love child, you’d have Foxygen’s fourth studio release Hang.

The groovy L.A. based duo comprising of Jonathan Rado and Sam France have once again reinvented their sound, but their style remains the same. Their 2013 release We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic propelled them into the limelight. It was fresh, spirited, frenetic and unlike anything else. Their follow-up …And Star Power (2014) was less impressive as a forgettable 24-song chronicle of a band at war with itself.

In Hang, Foxygen takes a different direction. Having assembled a 40 piece orchestra, Foxygen considers Hang to be their “first proper studio album.” Album opener “Follow the Leader” thrusts the record into full swing with bombastic horns, groovy keyboards, 1960’s bubblegum female backup vocals, and France’s gyrating shrieks.

France’s vocal diversity in Hang is prevalent as he effortlessly switches his inflections from Mick Jagger (“Rise Up”), David Bowie (“Mrs. Adams”), and Lou Reed (“Upon a Hill”).

Hang reaches it’s peak with album highlight “On Lankershim.” It is reminiscent of the 1970’s folky sounds of a.m. radio. The ballad “Trauma” is as smooth as it is carefully arranged symphonic pop. “Avalon” and “Upon a Hill” evoke imagery of the vaudeville camp you’d see on the Broadway stage.

Hang is grandiose, flamboyant, and ostentatious. But underneath the high concept, little substance is present. It’s all body and no soul. It’s an album I would pay good money to see in all of it’s cosmic glory live, but it’s not an album that I would come back to for regular listens.

Hang: C+