powerpop

Charly Bliss

Charly Bliss

Guppy (makes 1 album)

Ingredients:

  • 1 part Weezer
  • 1 part Charlotte Hatherly
  • Veruca Salt
  • Artisanal Kay Hanley

In a shaker, combine Weezer and Charlotte Hatherly over a handful of cool as ice, shake gently. Rim a high-ball generously with Veruca Salt, pour the shaker contents through a strainer. Add two liberal splashes of Kay Hanley before garnishing with a Cherry Bomb. Serve thrown directly in the face.

Pardon my language, but:

This. Fucking. Album.

Charly Bliss is absolutely killing it. They've recaptured a kind of earnest, crunchy power pop/punk that I haven't had a craving for in years. In a post-Blue Album time-frame, there are certainly plenty of bands that aimed to do this, but you can count on one hand the few that even knocked on the door. Charly Bliss kicked it in. They live here now.

As proscribed by the rock gods and set down in the before-times, Charly Bliss is correctly a four-piece outfit: sibling duo Eva and Sam Hendricks on guitar and drums respectively, Spencer Fox on second guitar and Dan Shure on the bass. Eva pulls lead vocal duties combining an intrinsic hard-candy sugar with the sharp glint of a razor. Applied to her borderline-oversharing lyrics and the occasional scream/squeal for punctuation, the result is infectious in the very best way. As a musical entity, it's difficult to explain how they walk this tightrope hanging over a bottomless chasm of "merely nostalgia" without a single misstep, but you can hear it for yourself. Their sound isn't replicating something specific, they've absorbed a fundamental quality that makes it genuine. It feels contemporary to Weezer but it doesn't feel like they're playing Weezer songs. It feels adjacent to Letters to Cleo but they're not Cleo songs.

Basically it's a miracle. This is a miracle album. Quality is bursting from every seam. A veritable cornucopia of brilliance. I'm out of words. The ones I used don't really feel entirely adequate. Black Hole is amazing. Ruby is amazing. Look, they're all amazing, I'm serious. Do the needful. I even added a Bandcamp link so you can give your sweet sweet dollars slightly more directly to the band.

I can only do so much for you, it's your time now.

Go.

Black Hole
Ruby

Where to find Charly Bliss:
Twitter: @charly_bliss
Website: www.charlybliss.com

Letters to Cleo

Letters to Cleo

No, it isn’t 1997. Letters has been making a comeback for me in recent weeks. A head-bobbing, rocking, “why did I ever stop listening to these guys?” kind of comeback. There’s something absolutely infectious about their sound, energetic and fun and everything that good pop rock should be. You’ve probably heard Letters to Cleo (or at least Kay Hanley, lead vocalist and lead cute girl) even if you think you haven’t. They had cuts on soundtracks for The Craft, 10 Things I Hate About You (and a cameo! That band they go watch? Yep.) and Kay provided the singing voice for Josie in the often-overlooked and always under-valued live-action film rendition of Josie and the Pussycats (1/2 star Roger Ebert? Are you kidding me?). If you haven’t seen any of those, just get out. Go, just…go.

I’m dropping a trifecta here. Two from Go! (my favorite-ist Letters album by a wide margin) and their Cheap Trick cover from 10 Things cause it’s epic good. I’m not even kidding here, I think their cover is superior to the original by a fair amount. That’s right, superior to Cheap Trick. What about it Cheap Trick? You want some? Huh? Come get some.

Veda Very Shining
I Got Time
I Want You to Want Me