This is the End of Control
An all-female L.A. teenage rock band called Cherri Bomb will invariably draw comparisons to that other all-female L.A. teenage rock band from a generation ago. The members of Cherri Bomb say they choose their name not after the Runaways but a book titled Cherry Bomb: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Better Flirt, a Tougher Chick, and a Hotter Girlfriend -- and to Living Life Like a Rock Star. That seems plausible considering the average age of the members is 14 and that one of the contributors to Cherry Bomb is the band's manager. Former Hole and Motley Crue drummer Samantha Maloney took the young band under her wing and steered them into the big leagues. Cherri Bomb toured with Filter and the Smashing Pumpkins during last summer's festivals -- all before they had a record deal. And, after opening for the Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl called Cherri Bomb "a real rock band."
Those tours and that shout out are quite impressive. But after listening to This is the End of Control, it's puzzling. It's easy to compare the slick pop-punk to the Donnas or (god forbid) Avril Lavigne. But those wouldn't be accurate. Cherri Bomb's sound actually harkens back to Trapt, Hoobastank, and other nü-metal bands from a decade ago. (It's funny; I don't recall Dave Grohl using any kind words about that subgenre.) Cherri Bomb differentiates itself from the nü-metal of yore with three-part harmonies and typical teenage lyrics. The 48-second "Take This Now" kicks off the debut album with the words "no way / not never / don't tell me what to do." A few tracks later, multiple voices sing "I won't do what I'm told" in the chorus of "Shake the Ground" -- which also produces the album title. Other adolescent concerns cover authenticity ("Raw.Real"), phonies ("Too Many Faces"), and love gone bad ("Better This Way," "Heart is a Hole"). The keyboard-laden "Heart is a Hole" is the most arena rock-friendly track. Even the guitar solos wring sympathy. Truthfully, the entire album is ready for the arena.
In addition to the taut This is the End of Control, Disney-imprint Hollywood Records is taking no chances with Cherri Bomb. Every picture and YouTube "Teenage Rock Diaries" of the band features the girls styled as Rock Stars -- tight leather pants, rainbow-colored locks, black eyeliner, glistening lip gloss, and tough yet come-hither stares. The band's verified Twitter account announced their inclusion in this summer's Van's Warped Tour. The roster of that tour may not carry the heft of the Foo Fighters, but Cherri Bomb will no doubt impress the other bands.