Cherry Pickles – Cherry Pickles Will Harden Your Nipples

…And we’re away! Cherry Pickles Will Harden Your Nipples is many things. Boastful in tone, confident in abilities, a little too much sugar in the syrup. And that’s just the title of the debut album from Priscilla B’s brainchild project.

This is an album with rare energy. Part contrivance – played only on instruments sourced at the thrift store, part punk, part minimalist garage rock. This thing is served with the easy dust of 60’s melodies, jangling guitars, and a lo-fi energy that enjoys not trying harder. For all of these reasons, of course, the production aesthetic is winning.

Priscilla B comes from Brazil. So, there are interesting rhythms here, but for the main they’re expressed on only two drums. This isn’t just a straight sounding album. All the elements have the quality of being something other than the normal.

Otherworldly elements are trapped in the lyrical content too. Song titles call up witches, werewolves, Fantasma, Spies, exorcists – and the explicit cry of ‘Let’s Be Bad’. With the gothic roadhouse treatment on the guitar many moments here could belong in ‘Wild At Heart’ era Lynch. Touched by Elvis, but darker, and with a nihilistic joy de vivre – we’re all fucked so let’s not pretend otherwise.

Cherry Pickles’ approach to lyrics mirrors the approach to production. Subjects are parred down to the basics. This simplicity allows for a more urgent access to emotion. Miscreant behavior in all forms is encouraged. “I’m gonna give it, give it to you, I’ve just got to scrape the law from off my shoes”

When an artist is so keenly observant of self-imposed form, and the stylization of sound, results can fall on either side of a line. Cherry Pickles navigates the issue with authenticity. For all the theater there is also a realness. At their heart these songs, touching on issues of play, deviance and escapism also offer up some genuinely touching moments.

In the album-closer, ‘Lilly is a Spy’ we’re told “Lilly is a spy who likes to eat flies…” it’s a great line, like many others here that cracks a grin. But as the story progresses we learn of the isolation of the girl locked in her duties and her unusualness. And there’s the key to unlock all of Cherry Pickles.

Cherry Pickles Will Harden Your Nipples acknowledges it’s own weirdness. There’s a Catholic sense of bad behavior and ‘shock/schlock’ but it’s playful, not maliciously harmful disobedience. The heart at the center of this thing is seeking connection. It’s a deeply human album. Rare in style and exuberantly executed. Cherry Pickles should be invited to the party, not because of their style – but because of the substance, smarts and wit that they so clearly hold.


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