Created out of childhood friendships that blossomed into bandhood, Charly Bliss brings something absolutely exhilarating and fun to the New York alternative scene with corrosive guitar licks, strange lyricism and tormented but downright charming vocals. The band absolutely radiates a vibrancy that is akin to 90’s goodies Superchunk and Veruca Salt, and brings underground rock into a whole new world of sunny, colorful fun.
From the very first track, Guppy hits you with its churning guitars and oozing ambiance: The opener, Percolator, brings us 90’s reminiscent, Placebo-like instrumentals that are followed by hectic stoner-rock guitar wails. Vocalist Eva Hendricks resonates with a sugary-sweet flair, but soonafter packs a guttural punch coupled with infantile screams covered in blood and glitter. Third track and one of many shining stars on the album is “Glitter”, a fevered apartment-pop jam blistered with delightfully heavy and driven bass and candy-coated with sharp lyricism. The chorus completely stands out as one of the greater moments on the album as it couples delicious distortion backed by sunny vocals. Top it off with an uber-nostalgic vintage keyboard line, and you’ve got yourself a scrumptious helping of saccharine garage pop.
The instrumentation is a key point of this album, as the percussions and bass drive the ragged, bubbly verses to paint-peeling, colorful choruses. One example of this is Gatorade, as hauntingly low-droning verses are matched with aggressively dreamy choruses to create a sound that could only emerge from Brooklyn. On “Totalizer”, self-deprecating millennial indie-punk lyricism is met with witty one-liners and a sharp chorus that spins swiftly. Eva Hendricks shines vocally on this track, illustrating her massive range from a low rasp to tantrum-like shrieks.
However, my absolute two favorite tracks off this deliciously distorted indie-punk gem are “Ruby” and “DQ”, both so fast-paced they might leave you a little dizzy. “Ruby” is the epitome of the album: scornful, sarcastic, bubbly yet rough-around-the-edges. It is gritty and blistered, yet has a certain bubblegum exterior that makes it so damn appealing. “DQ” is similar, with its highlighted percussion driven by minimalistic guitar licks in the verses. Eva goes on a total vivacious rant throughout, expressing her discontent at her life’s path as solid instrumentals drive the deep cut into a fuzzy, vibrant abyss.
Guppy is brutally honest, satisfyingly sweet and desperately cathartic. It is scornful, jolting and empowering as all hell – a sugary concoction of old-school punk, fuzzy ambience and vibrancy that makes you want to come-of-age all over again.