Published Jan 29, 2019The party's over for Cherry Glazerr. Originally started as an outlet for lo-fi musings on cats and grilled cheese, frontwoman Clementine Creevy and company established themselves as exuberant executors of rollickingly relatable garage rock with 2014's Haxel Princess. Doubt crept in on 2017's Apocalipstick, but for every line about feeling out of her depth, Creevy countered with an ode to artsy grubbiness or a ripping psychedelic trip.
Not so on the trio's third album. Apprehension saturates Stuffed & Ready, spilling out in unexpected directions. If Apocalipstick hinted that Creevy was more than just a former wunderkind, her new lyrics cement her as a mature songwriter. "Self Explained" is particularly impressive, wringing real tenderness from reclusion and mild misanthropy. Other tracks reveal different facets of uncertainty: pleading self-effacement on "That's Not My Real Life," subversive defiance on "Daddi" and outright self-loathing on "Isolation."
Too bad the music isn't as varied. In replacing keyboardist Sasami Ashworth with bassist Devin O'Brien, Cherry Glazerr have gone from wiry and versatile to big and bulky, but their titanic low-end quickly becomes stiflingly repetitive. "Wasted Nun," "Juicy Socks" and "Distressor" all lean on heavy distortion to escalate their choruses and all reach the same monotonous plateau. When the band does shift gears on "Pieces," they drift listlessly for two minutes before returning to the formula. Stuffed & Ready may not be Cherry Glazerr's most upbeat moment, but that doesn't mean it should be their most tedious as well. (Secretly Canadian)