Punk rock is making quite the comeback these days, and many groups are capitalizing on the raw, urgent, and exciting sounds of the movement while attempting to establish their own artistic identity in the process. Of all the recent punk-inspired outfits, Cherry Glazerr has gone through its fair share of line-up changes and stylistic switch-ups. But with their latest release, Stuffed and Ready, the group singularly commits to the grunge/post-punk aesthetic of the 90’s while maintaining their own brand of raw-edged yet moody and polished pop music. The overall sound and feel of Stuffed and Ready is fast-paced, frantic, and visceral, with songwriting that’s cutting and emotional but still full of hooks as well. In terms of performance, lead singer Clementine Creevy’s vocals are soaring yet vulnerable, and the band’s unity and cohesion allow for a lean and concise sense of energy and pacing. Cherry Glazerr’s strengths are best represented when they fully embrace their brash and hard-hitting sound which makes songs such as “Wasted Nun” and “Daddi” exhilarating and infectious to listen to.
The raw and immediate style embodied on these tracks allows for a good portion of the album to be genuinely enjoyable and organic despite the various influences the band incorporates. The production on Stuffed and Ready draws mainly from early punk and alternative and also touches upon aspects of New Wave and early 2000’s rock and pop. There’s a clear emphasis on instrumentation and inter-play which adds depth to the songs; in particular, the guitar work is crisp and tight and often adds to the arrangements effectively. This type of production matches the lyrical concerns of the album which include modern relationships, loneliness, and societal frustration – these concerns are most directly addressed on songs “Self Explained,” “Isolation,” and “Stupid Fish.” The introspective nature of these tracks balances out nicely against more visceral selections like “Not My Real life” and opening number “Ohio.”
While Stuffed and Ready remains an entertaining listen for much of its duration, there are some areas where the group’s sound could use more development. There are moments where the subject matter and sound can cycle back on itself and at times can come off a bit too controlled to come alive fully. A looser and more organic touch could aid in opening these moments up and giving them more room while also adding some dimension to the album’s sound. While the album can at times suffer from being one-note, when Cherry Glazzer connect, they do so rewardingly, and there’s a pure pleasure in seeing them clearly invest in their feisty punk roots.
On the whole, Stuffed and Ready is a solidly crafted and satisfying blend of grunge and punk and a strong showcase of Cherry Glazzer’s latest line-up. While it can appear repetitive and one-note in terms of sound, the album still contains a good deal of emotion, intensity, and style. Punk isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and Cherry Glazzer demonstrate a potential that could very well keep it alive and running. They seem pretty ready – now, it’s time to get just a little less stuffed. But hey, a little too much punk rock never hurt anybody right?
Songs to Spin: “Self Explained,” “Isolation,” “Daddi,” “Stupid Fish,” “That’s Not My Real Life”