Cherry Glazerr — Apocalipstick (20 January 2017)
⦿ An impressive second LP from the nascent L.A. rock trio. Off~kilter noise pop from an L.A. group led by young singer/songwriter Clementine Creevy.Location: Los Angeles, California
Genre: scuzz pop
Album release: 20 January 2017
Record Label: Secretly Canadian
01 Told You I’d Be with the Guys 4:34
02 Trash People 3:09
03 Moon Dust 2:34
04 Humble Pro 2:43
05 Nuclear Bomb 3:46
06 Only Kid on the Block 3:46
07 Lucid Dreams 3:41
08 Sip O’ Poison 2:21
09 Nurse Ratched 3:01
10 Instagratification 2:45
11 Apocalipstick 2:06
℗ 2017 Secretly Canadian
⦿ Society would deem that a prodigious girl can’t be in a progressive rock band while also being in complete control of its creative vision, business plan and social messaging. Society is wrong. Clem, a 19 year old teen Queen with a headstrong resolve like her hero Patti Smith and a cartoon laugh like Muttley the dog, dreamed up Cherry Glazerr in her LA bedroom alone and is perhaps more capable of figuring a music career out than anyone who attempts this treacherous life path. And yet, she carries herself very lightly. “This one’s going to be a flop!” she jokes, here to discuss the newly lined~up trio’s second album, Apocalipstick. It’s every bit as epic, funny, life~assuring, doom~defiant and flaming fire as that title sounds. What’s more, it’s the soundtrack to their collective rockstar evolution.
⦿ Today things look a little different from the band’s early days back in 2014 when they were associated with much~loved Cali imprint Burger Records (who put out their intoxicating debut Haxel Princess) and Suicide Squeeze (who released the Had Ten Dollaz 7”). Back then, they were born as a different trio, featuring Hannah Uribe and Sean Redman who have since both moved onto other artistic pursuits.
⦿ Now bolstering Clem’s vision is the loud~in~every~way~possible drummer Tabor Allen and the level~headed but bad~ass, multi~instrumentalist Sasami Ashworth who plays synths and notably French Horn (Clem is still scheming on how to incorporate that into Cherry Glazerr’s sound). The first time the new trio all jammed together minds were blown. “My world was rocked,” recalls Clem. “I’d never played with someone who was technically that good before. It made me think, Man I gotta really step my shit up!” © ⦿ Photographed for Verbicide Magazine.
⦿ On Apocalipstick the band worked with “rock‘n’roll wizard” Joe Chicarelli [White Stripes, The Shins, The Strokes] and Carlos de la Garza [Bleached, M83, Tegan and Sara]. Understandably the band felt a sense of vulnerability when laying themselves bare to Joe, a producer they had so much respect for. Dispelling her own sense of ego was an added hurdle for Clem, but it allowed for their greatest risk~taking as a band yet and has paid off exponentially. “I didn’t even smoke weed during pre~production because I didn’t wanna disappoint Joe. I didn’t wanna get in trouble!” laughs Clem. She adds, “Making a record is such a spiritual thing. You laugh, you cry, you’re miserable and the happiest you’ll ever be.” Tabor chimes in with typically comedy drummer timing, “It was so much simpler than that for me. Just, ‘These drums sound sick.”
⦿ The band’s newfound self~discipline and motivation has evolved Cherry Glazerr into a wildly complex, hugely guitar heavy, and unapologetically loud machine. “People may be shocked by the jump in our sound,” says Sasami, eager to establish that this record isn’t intended to be some fancy statement about reaching their pinnacle. It was simply an opportunity they couldn’t turn down. Clem has since learned how to quit focusing her attention on the fans or wider critical response. “There was a time when I just couldn’t write songs because of that. You can’t do that,” she says. “You can’t be emotionally free if you’re pandering to anyone. Serving the music is the one and only thing that matters.” That’s hard when you have people telling you what to do all the time.
⦿ “Comedy in music is extremely important to me because humour is all we have as human beings,” Clem adds. The jests are particularly strong on the disgustingly catchy track ‘Trash People’ ~ it’s quite literal in its self~deprecation levels. “That’s a fun song about how I have dirty fucking habits,” says Clem. “It’s about being road rats, nasty ass, dirty fuckers. That’s how I like to live.” ‘Instagratification’ is a tongue~in~cheek musing on social media narcissism, which the band admit to feeding off. Sasami notes that women are shamed so much more often for their posts: “Who the fuck cares? If you wanna post a photo of your pussy go for it! The ultimate white privilege is sweating the small shit, judging people for things that don’t matter.”
⦿ When it comes to sweating the major shit, Cherry Glazerr live like they want to see others live. They don’t want to preach certain politics, they’d rather hold court for an open discourse. The subject of equality among the sexes, however, holds a special, unavoidable place for Clem, torchbearer for feminism in its raddest forms. That’s so key to her aesthetic that it’s the opening sentiment of Apocalipstick via the anthemic, disaster~laden ‘Told You I’d Be With The Guys’. The song documents Clem’s realization that she needed to establish solidarity with other women and stop being a “lone wolf”. “Sexism is so ingrained in me, I can often feel that men are the only ones who can help me socially, economically. The most important thing in my life is that I’ve realized I need to work for solidarity. That song’s both hopeful and dismal!” she laughs. Clem still feels the constant need to prove herself. “Women work from behind their oppression. In order to make good art you need to be emotionally free and sadly, not a lot of women are able to do that. That always puts a fire under my ass.”Review
By Ryan Lunn / 13 JANUARY 2017, 13:30 GMT / Score: 8.5
⦿ In the few short years since Cherry Glazerr released their debut album, Haxel Princess (http://www.allmusic.com/album/haxel-princess-mw0002605162), on the esteemed Burger Records during 2014, they’ve quite literally become an entirely different band ~ figurehead Clementine Creevy is the only remaining member from the original line~up that recorded their first album. For Apocalipstick, their debut for Secretly Canadian, Creevy is now joined by multi~instrumentalist Sasami Ashworth and drummer Tabor Allen.
⦿ It’s clear, however, that the changes ~ forced or not ~ have payed off majorly. Apocalipstick is clear development in sound from the lighthearted scrappiness of their last effort ~ it’s perfectly polished and, although it’s not their first studio album, it, in many ways, feels like their first proper album. While Haxel Princess was still an enjoyable listen, it lacks the bite and the confidence that can be heard in Creevy’s voice across Apocalipstick.
⦿ Luckily, though, Apocalipstick hasn’t lost any of the charm that made their debut so enjoyable in the first place. There may not be any more odes to grilled cheese or branding of Rob Kardashian as a “tool”, but, despite the more professional nature of their sound, Cherry Glazerr still aren’t taking themselves too seriously; amongst the album’s highlights is the millennial self~deprecation of “Trash People”, where Creevy admits that her room smells like an ashtray and she wears her underpants three days in a row.
⦿ Other highlights include opener and female solidarity anthem “Told You I’d Be With the Guys”, “Nuclear Bomb” ~ the slowest, yet most effective track on the album ~ and the self~aware cry for validation of “Instagratifcation”, alongside strong re-recorded versions of fan favourites “Sip O’ Poison” and “Nurse Ratched”. Apocalipstick is fast, furious and, most importantly, fun, making it the first truly badass album of 2017. If you haven’t already, now’s the perfect time to become a slave to the glaze.
AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra; Score: ***
Interview with Clementine Creevy: BY BEN BARNA JANUARY 27, 2015
Interview with Cherry Glazerr: Regina Campbell, March 10, 2014
⦿ The off~kilter noise pop sound of L.A. quartet Cherry Glazerr was born in 2012 when high~school student and singer/songwriter Clementine Creevy began recording songs in her bedroom under the name Clembutt. After getting some early help from Lucy Miyaki of L.A. band Tashaki Miyaki, Creevy formed a group made up of drummer Hannah Uribe and vocalist Sophia Muller to aid in bringing her songs to life. After adding bassist Sean Redman to the lineup, the quartet made a demo tape that caught the ear of Burger Records. The newly christened Cherry Glazerr (with a name taken from local NPR radio reporter Cherry Glaser) released the nine~song cassette Papa Cremp in early 2013 and started playing shows, including 2013’s Burgerama festival, where they gained a fan in Yves Saint Laurent’s creative director, Hedi Slimane. She invited Cherry Glazerr to play a show in Paris, and their song “Trick or Treat Dancefloor” was used in the company’s ad campaign. The foursome recorded their first album, Haxel Princess, for Burger, but Muller left before the album’s release in January of 2014. Redman and Uribe also left the group, leaving Creevy to rebuild and revamp. Tabor Allen joined up on drums, Sasami Ashworth on synths, and the trio began working on a new album. Teaming with producers Joe Chiccarelli, whose long career included work on albums by the White Stripes and the Strokes, and Carlos de la Garza, the band’s scruffy garage punk sound skipped ahead to the grungy ‘90s and added a layer of studio sheen, while still holding on to Creevy’s unique point of view. Along with the new lineup and sound, the band jumped to a new label, Secretly Canadian, and released Apocalipstick in early 2017. ~ Tim Sendra © ⦿ Photography Byron Spencer