Cherri Bomb

This is the End of Control

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It's all too easy for all-girl rock bands to be fetishized just for being who they are (not to mention how depressing it is when the bands play into it too much), but this isn't a problem for Cherri Bomb. Edgy-girly name aside, the band doesn't wield its gender or sexuality as an entrance into its music. Yes, Cherri Bomb is an all-female band, and yes, the members were in their teens when they recorded this album, but they don't need to emphasize either of those facts to make compelling music. The band's full-length debut This Is the End of Control proves that Cherri Bomb is a straight-ahead rock band with talent, a rarity in the 2010s no matter how old or what sex the people in the band are. Julia Pierce and company can rock with the best of them: "Hold On" boasts some fearsome fretwork while "Drawing a Blank" is as angry as it is fun, with tumbling riffs and breakneck drums courtesy of Nia Lovelis. "I don't want your opinion" Pierce sneers on the threatening, taunting "Shake the Ground"; later, she's clever and empowering on "Paper Doll" ("I'm not here to break your fall/I won't be your paper doll"), one of the few songs where Cherri Bomb uses typically feminine imagery to hit its point home. Every now and then, the band sweetens its sound with some pop leanings; Pierce's commanding vocals suggest Paramore's Hayley Williams in a particularly fierce frame of mind, especially on "Too Many Faces," while the album's sole ballad "Heart Is a Hole" would do Evanescence proud. Fittingly, though, Cherri Bomb sounds most natural when it feels like the band is ready to explode, as on "Raw. Real." and "Better This Way." Even when the group's influences bubble to the surface, Cherri Bomb still brings its own touch to those sounds, as on "Let It Go"'s Foo Fighters-esque, anthemic rush or "Sacrificial Lamb"'s Queens of the Stone Age-like swampy stomp, on which Pierce is both lamb and lioness. This Is the End of Control's only flaw, if it can be called one, is that its songs are almost too tightly written, to the point where it's easy to tell when a chorus or bridge will pop up; fortunately, though, most tracks stay on the familiar side of predictable instead of boring. This Is the End of Control is an impressive debut -- Cherri Bomb make accessible music that nevertheless challenges perceptions about young female artists, and while the band's talent should guard against them being treated like a novelty, the most rebellious move the women of Cherri Bomb may make is just being who they are.

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