Apocalipstick: Cherry Glazerr's new album is "a whole lot of rock 'n' roll"
Written by Jacob Dagit
Sex with a guitar, semi-legal drugs, and a whole lot of rock and roll is exactly what one can expect from Cherry Glazerr’s new January 2017 album, Apocalipstick.
After having gathered two new band members, a new label and a new sound, the alt-punk trio delivers 11 new tracks. They tell of broken hearts, feminism and severe self-criticism on the fickleness of our culture due to the digital consciousness now so prevalent in our society. Though she is conscious about her humility and crediting her new bandmates (Tabor Allen, Sasami Ashworth), Apocalipstick is clearly a boisterous and genuine personal expression of frontwoman Clementine Creevy (Clem) and her experience as a woman in the male dominated music industry.
From the first track “Told You I’d Be with the Guys,” Cherry Glazerr is clear about the new sound and values that are shown on Apocalipstick. A lone, fuzz covered guitar riff and splashy drum kit are a precursor to the signature vocals by Creevy that juxtapose shrill shouts and a soft, airy, upper register. This comparison of the harsh and bright sounds is key for interpreting the song as a grievance by Clem for the isolation and opposition that a woman faces from the patriarchal gatekeeper complex maintained by men in the rock genre.
“I was a lone wolf / I thought I lost my pack / Where are my ladies? / Nobody has my back.”
The music video for this song depicts Cherry Glazerr performing the song in a house that is slowly occupied by a wide variety of men all wearing red polo shirts. The growing presence of the men in the house slowly gives a feeling of anxiety and claustrophobia to the two women they surround.
“Moon Dust” and “Sip O’ Poison” tell tales of post-intoxicant clarity and the consequences of those self-destructive tendencies.
“I ate it, I hate it / They see me there dancing alone / It called my name, take me under, you dirty sour thing” croons Creevy in “Moon Dust,” a song about a liquefied concoction of crushed pain killers.
“Sip O’ Poison” expresses Cherry Glazerr’s disdain for alcohol when used as a means of subduing women.
“The horny boys are out / You better watch it alright? / A single sip of poison killed a kid who / Wasn't shy!”
The reverb and phaser effects added to the backing vocals, guitar and synth illustrate the muted panic of incoherence that these drugs both cause.
Showing her personal side with songs like “Only Kid on the Block” and “Nuclear Bomb”, Creevy conveys her sadness and frustration with the turmoil of relationships. “Only Kid on the Block” is about how angry Creevy is at herself for getting so upset over an ended relationship, chanting “Why can’t I be alone? / I’m like a dog at the door.”
Even in the sorrowful ballad “Nuclear Bomb” Clem avoids vulnerability as the sobbing verses are downplayed in the ridiculous music video that depicts the explicit relations that Creevy has with her signature black Rickenbacker 330 guitar, complete with a condom on the whammy bar and finishing with a snare drum joining the unlikely couple beneath the sheets.
While it’s nice that Creevy has no issue depicting herself in such a sexual context, the erotic theme would’ve been much more appropriate for a song like “Humble Pro.”
“And I know / He’ll be down for something later tonight / Humble Pro / Fry that shit on low.”
Finishing strong, Cherry Glazerr ends with their single “Nurse Ratched” named after the iconic antagonist of Ken Kesey’s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. It depicts Creevy as a murderous hitchhiker, framing the scene with the frightening ambient solo vocals “Your eyes, like daggers, burn through his skin / You're so cold master, where do I begin?” And with the catchiest hook of the entire project, “She’s a wild one / She’s a wild one next to me.”
“Instagratification” is a criticism on the instant gratification that we enjoy in a world of Amazon Prime and “fucking lazy entertainment,” even acknowledging “I’m a hypocrite but at least I know it!” before seamlessly transitioning into the epic instrumental finale song, “Apocalipstick,” that truly sounds like the backtrack to the lipstick rocket from the album cover launching and bringing about the end of the world.
Clocking in at just under 35 minutes, the album is a well-executed reinvention by Cherry Glazerr that signals their move out of the minor league and into a professional performance environment without compromising authenticity and integrity of their still young career.