The feminist, manic genius of 19-year-old Clem Creevy, lead singer of Cherry Glazerr, is astonishing, if not slightly overwhelming. The LA band’s new album is an impressive step forward for the band, as they manage to maintain their kitschy sounds while facing more complex production and subjects, like adulthood, social media, and lucid dreaming. Apocolipstick is a punk millineal’s lament of entering adulthood, yet still a celebration of the freaky, inner tween that never dies for some.
The band’s sound has not changed since their first album, but their sound has obviously become more produced. While there are still easily-moshable songs, others sick as “Nuclear Bomb” are more melancholy and even desperate-sounding. Producer Joe Chiccarelli (Strokes, White Stripes) keeps their sound succinct and balanced while still working in fuzzy grit and creepy angst.
Apart from their new, matured sound, Cherry Glazerr’s lyrics capture a reluctant, feminist weirdo’s first step into adulthood. Their first album, Haxel Princess was praised for its innocent imagery and juxtaposition of sweet lyrics and heavy power chords. It was edgy yet childish, and punk yet feminine. Looking back at it now, I realize it was a quirky, yet genuine record, as Creevy wrote most songs at the age of 16. Lyrics about alien princesses and themes of adolescent levity are not necessarily absent in this album, but Clem takes a different approach to such teenage imagery. She sings of trying to act professional, but feeling totally out of her element in “Moon Dust.” The opening song and single from the album, “Told You I’d Be with the Guys” is a satire of bro culture and a call for female unity. Without even trying she rejects gender expectations of cleanliness as she sings about her shitty, beer-stained apartment in “Trash People.” Her lyrics are relatable to a generation of young adults who feel adulthood slowly encroaching on them. The record is truly for millennials reluctantly trying to fit into adulthood, yet still cling to their inner alien princess.
Crawling on stage and proceeding to dance around like a velociraptor, Clem makes the band’s live shows a freaky, feminist whirl of ecstasy. Dancing under home-made vulva posters that hung from the ceiling, the atmosphere felt like a raging feminist freak mosh machine. Never have I truly been more comfortable letting my freak flag fly at a concert, something that is often lost on women at concerts, where men often intrude and take up an excessive amount of space. Cherry Glazerr shows create a collective sense of empowerment and are celebration of weirdness. As Clem prophesizes in a Vice interview, “I don’t want clean and digestible. I want real, dirty, messy, honest shit.” The band’s wit, feminist rage, and authenticity has these recent high school grads poised for a future of head-banging.