There is an old adage about judging books and the relative merits of their covers. While time and usage have rendered it a hackneyed cliche, there is a truth in it and an album like Cherry Glazerr Apocalipstick is living proof of that. The title and cover art make it appear as though we’re getting some sharp, nihilistic jubilance wrapped up in a playful exterior; a multicolored middle finger in the air to the end of the world and those who caused it. Now there are flickers of that promised sensibility, it’s lost in the haze of the bland and unremarkable indie pop aura of the music. Within its sub thirty-five minute runtime, the songs never come close to making any kind of impression. When you’re in the middle of it, it’s solid, if uninteresting, but as soon as the proceedings come to their conclusion, it’s gone forever from your memory to be replaced with a “Scene Missing” title card.
What they have created feels out of time, but not in a good way; think more dated than that phrase immediately implies. This belongs to the bygone era of 2006, when Arctic Monkeys reigned supreme, misunderstood adolescent trustafarians discovered The Smiths and MySpace made everyone think they could be a superstar. So much of Apocalipstick is indie rock by numbers. Trebly, scratch guitars drenched in fuzz, howled vocals which occasionally slide into tunefulness and high-hat heavy drums. It’s pretty fair to say that nothing here would be out of place on the Inbetweeners soundtrack. If this is your prefered genre, then this is will be a decent record for you. ‘Trash People’ and ‘Moon Dust’ feel like they belong within the Interpol/Editors/Director mould. The band do stretch their legs out, occasionally, and reveal that there is a bit more to them. For example, ‘Told You I’d Be With The Guys’, which, while too long for own good, has a nice central riff and the very gratifying breakdown in the climax as does ‘Nuclear Bomb’ which marries gentle acoustic instrumentation with a grandiose scope. But the real standout is ‘Sip O’ Poison’ a late entry that is nothing short of excellent. It’s noisy and shambolic with a filthy bassline at its core and suggests that Glazerr have a few hidden weapons in their arsenal.
Ultimately, by the record’s end, not much an impression has been made, and if it has it’s not a terribly positive one. It’s undeniable that there are some simple pleasures on display. If you feel like guitar music reached its zenith around the time that Saddam Hussein was executed, then this will be a pleasant, if unremarkable, little trip into a well-trodden comfort zone. If not, then you’ll be uninterested and forget about it pretty swiftly after it ends. Everything is fine, ordinary, run of the mill as the record could be used as a textbook example of acceptability. It’s the musical equivalent of plain toast; perfectly serviceable, not unpleasant but not something you’ll ever reach for. Will Murphy