|Cherri Bomb - 'This Is The End Of Control' (Hollywood Records)|
|Written by Gaz E|
|Tuesday, 15 May 2012 04:30|
The recent revelation by Lzzy Hale of the hotly-tipped Halestorm that her vocal coach when she was seventeen/eighteen years of age was none other than Steve Whiteman of Maryland's '80s rockers KIX, informed every reader of one main fact: the cool kids of today get it all from the cool kids of yesterday.
With that in mind, it comes as no surprise to find that Cherri Bomb, the young all-girl band out of Los Angeles who got signed to Hollywood Records - home to the likes of Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato and the Jonas Brothers - when the band's average age was just thirteen, are managed by Samantha Maloney, former drummer with Hole and Motley Crue, who, when seeing the girls when they supported The Chelsea Girls (her band that also featured Allison Robertson of The Donnas and Corey Parks, once of Nashville Pussy), decided to give up playing herself to concentrate on managing the teenage terrors.
So, the teen record deal, the experienced svengali, the band name - this is a modern version of The Runaways, right? Well, no. The band name, perhaps cutely, possibly too conveniently, is said to have been inspired by the 'Cherry Bomb: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Better Flirt, a Tougher Chick, and a Hotter Girlfriend, and to Living Life Like a Rock Star' book that Maloney (and former Runaway Cherie Currie) contributed to that saw release in 2008. That's cool - feisty, girl power - but there should be no shame in trying to replicate the success of The Runaways, if that is what we can at least squint our eyes and ears and assume is part-happening here. Many have tried, many have failed, many have been saccharine-sweet, manufactured pop tarts aimed more at paedo- rather than audio-philes.
Where Cherri Bomb differs from those that have fallen from their hooker shoes at the first hurdle is that these girls appear to have a streetwise suss to their music, a sound that dips a toe into current popular rock music yet thrashes wildly in waters about to drop off an alternative ledge into a mature rock pool.
Reported to have been musically trained since the age of five, the girls - Julia Pierce on lead vocals and guitar, Miranda Miller on guitar, and sisters Rena and Nia Lovelis on bass/lead vocals and drums respectively - name bands like Garbage and Foo Fighters as major influences: check out the band's take on the latter's 'The Pretender' if you doubt the talent of these young players.
'Take This Now' is a moody intro that in no way prepares you for what is about to follow, its harmony vocals giving way to a wail of feedback and a tearing riff that does have a whiff of the Foos about it (I'm still unsure about all the 'foo' comments given the all-girl territory I find myself in!) but happily without being a mess of teeth and hair. 'Better This Way' stamps its authority all over the stereo and all I can do if offer a raised eyebrow and a hint of applause.
'Raw Deal' follows and is another winner; a staccato vocal delivery threatens over simple yet effective guitar and, with an epic "whoa-oh" chant as a middle eight, every button appears to be pressed on the impressometer. 'Shake The Ground' rides in, side saddle, on a great fat riff and is simply dripping in attitude: this song is featured on the soundtrack of Marvel Avengers Assemble, a low budget flick that you may have seen loitering around the schedules of a couple of arthouse cinemas these past few weeks, and it is there for a reason - Cherri Bomb smash!
'Too Many Faces' is the first example of the band tapping into the teen market where many (myself included) possibly thought that they would be rooted in: it is the nearest that the album gets to a sound more akin to Paramore, with the scope of 30 Seconds To Mars thrown into the melting pot; that being said, it is another excellent tune with a cool guitar hook at its mid-point.
'Let It Go' is the song that stuck with me on first listen and, on repeated listens, it still hits its mark every time. It hangs on a massive stadium rock hook that echoes the awesomeness of The Donnas around the time of 'Bitchin' and slays with a killer gang vocal, via a wonderfully off-kilter guitar solo. 'Sacrificial Lamb' darkens the mood slightly, introducing Veruca Salt to the party - the band, not the spoilt child - before 'Act The Part' reminds me that I haven't listened to those three Damone albums in ages.
'Drawing A Blank' opens with another frenetic, Foos-style riff before turning 21 with another Donnas-esque vocal line. 'Heart Is A Hole', opening with a hauntingly keyed intro, offers, at track ten, the first moment allowed for the listener to take a breath; a breath that is quickly taken away by the song's huge, and hugely infectious, chorus; if Amy Lee was sat behind a piano playing this it would be on heavy rotation on every music video channel. 'Paper Doll' rolls in with another Grohl-riff, a European rock-style hook dissecting it, an unexpected (at album's opening at least) subtlety and maturity saturating every note, vocally and musically. By the time 'This Is The End Of Control' reaches the end of its own running time with 'Hold On', "we won't die, we'll survive the apocalypse" is the snarled mantra of the uber-talented young ladies who spit it out with a clenched fisted passion rather than hollow promise.
Imagine an ass-kicking gang of great looking girls knocking out riffs that don't just owe a debt of honour to the best stuff that Grohl and company regularly churn out, but add a new twist to them; imagine that band throwing down massive choruses and doing it with a coolness that you could only dream about; imagine an album by this eight-legged hook machine being available right now. Imagine no more.
Cherri Bomb - cute, adorable, deadly. Buy it.
To pick up your copy of 'This Is The End Of Control' - CLICK HERE