Cherry Glazerr’s Apocalipstic is aggressive and weird, propelling a gritty, indie punk sound that’s characterized by harsh, trashy guitar tones, and that’s reinforced by the anbaric buzz of a synth and the urgent warmth of punk styled bass. They can be described as electrical garage rock – their sound is dissonant and dirty, upbeat and slightly off-putting. When listening to this album I imagine I’m following the bumpy lines of a jagged and desolate road in the thick of summer sweat. The album is groovy, with a blues influence that often adds some semblance of reservation. Mostly, this album conveys a mess of sporadic moods – loud and aggressive shouts mixed with earnest passion and melodic laments, back and forth.
Cherry Glazerr’s continuing propensity toward brutal honesty, and their penchant for all things strange is epitomized in the song, “Trash People,” where they highlight in a humorous way anything that makes them gross, and in turn, everything that makes them different. The song itself sounds like it could be called garage pop. A quick and antsy pop drum beat creates a linear rhythm and adds a drive, a straightforward destination, a need to arrive quick. There are hints of a discordant dream-pop influence. The vocals are distorted to reinforce a grimy ambiance. It’s a pop style with a weird vibe. The dirty content of the lyricism is confluent with the quirky atmosphere created by the jangly and metallic tone. They present themselves blatantly, confessing their antisocial and fringe positions, their odd and repellent traits with lines like, “We wear our underpants three days in a row/ My room smells like an ashtray” or “My carpet smells like beer forever, forever.” This song is emblematic of Cherry Glazerr’s loud and unrepentant music. Cherry Glazerr embraces their faults, “[w]earing a smile and a heart on [their] sleeve.” Their music is in your face, and proud to be conventionally unpleasant. Each song sounds strange, in a flagrant way. It feels forceful – not forced. The band wants you to feel uncomfortable with them. They want you to bask with them in their repugnant exultation. Cherry Glazerr accepts their strangeness, in a melodic way. It feels authentic, a genuine representation of their bizarre tendencies.
Throughout Apocalipstic, one can often find hints and blends of a versatile array of genres and influences. Cherry Glazerr incorporates elements from a range of variant influences, drawn from a scope of alternative and indie rock. In “Moon Dust,” for example, the spacy style and eerie tones put forth by the synths and guitars are reminiscent of a slight psychedelia, and parallel the surreal content of the song’s lyrics: “Psychoactive on a mystical wave/ I found some clarity in this three-dimensional space.” The song’s name aptly suits the retro, extraterrestrial sound. The song, “Humble Pro,” is slightly more surfy with a more traditional punk style. The tones of the synth and the electric guitar work to weave a dreamy feel again. “Nuclear Bomb” is slower, almost ballad-like. There is a sense of melancholic frustration in the vocals. The tone is similar to the rest of the album, grimy and noisy, but the song sounds more serious than usual.
Despite the album’s versatility, it is characterized by a beat that is almost always simple and groovy, filling and building an intense yet airy space that’s designated by rhythmic guitars. The album is very rhythmic. At the centre of their sound, surrounded by their subtle and permeating influences, Cherry Glazerr is distinguished by a punky blues style infused with a messy aesthetic. Many of the songs have the linear feel of punk songs, while embracing pop melodies. Cherry Glazerr drives these styles through a filter of garage band trash. It’s a trashy sound that enhances their appeal.
Inherent to this album, and notable in almost every song, is the unique way in which emotion is conveyed through the vocals. Each song is energized with a multitude of moods that is made apparent through the way each word is sung. Each note is a surprise. Emotion is irregular in Cherry Glazerr. It’s sporadic and spontaneous. Each song depicts a sense of indecision, of complex feeling that is presented in a bare way, authentically, to represent the disorganization that is fundamental to subjective reaction. The vocal style of Clementine Creevy is interesting. Her voice is imbued with a subtle touch of distortion and reverb, which pushes a somewhat dissonant tone, while also remaining slightly dreamy and aggressively psychedelic. Creevy doesn’t stick to conventional vocal patterns, accentuating beats in unexpected and unique ways, breaking up syllables across bars and leaving the listener in initial states of ambiguity. The way Creevy’s lyrics and melodies play with each other is frequently jarring and intense, yet satisfying. You often can’t anticipate the direction Creevy will take. Despite their notability, the vocals are still used in prudent and communal ways. Creevy’s singing is emphasized as a beneficent instrument, while still maintaining a catchiness that parallels the album’s highly rhythmic instrumentation. Sometimes the vocals take on a generic “indie rock” tone that detracts from a song’s quality, but it’s not often.
The album ends with its title track, “Apocalipstic” – a heavier, instrumental jam with more spaced out beats and a slow, rhythmic guitar groove. There is a discordant ringing that creates an uppity and contrasting wave that moves in and and out rapidly. It’s unexpected, with a diverging feeling that opposes the lighter air of the rest of the album. It’s more rockish, and epic than their other songs, and serves as a darker and earnest finale to a satisfyingly good garage punk album.