by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
Portland’s Cry Babe formed out of a shared necessity, a release from the frustrations around them. The trio’s debut is fully realized and rightfully outraged, an album that finds strength in female empowerment and moving on from previously crappy situations to brighter days ahead. Be Cool, due out today, February 14th via Good Cheer Records (Floating Room, Turtlenecked, Babehoven) is built on four songs with varying emotional stages, but fragility isn’t one of them. Their songs are tough and driving, taking influence from artists like Mitski and Angel Olsen, but carving their own aggressive niche in the punk world with howling vocals and crunchy guitars that tear forward with a victorious pummel. The bullshit, is not needed.
“Glasses” opens the record with a dreamy melody that feels soft and distant, but as they tempo picks up and the rhythm comes in with a sludgy thud, Cry Babe’s sound becomes delightfully unrestraint, keeping the lulling charm even as the distortion surges. Anaïs Genevieve’s (vocals/guitar) is powerful and adept at shifting from sweetened melodies to lower register yelps, the variation uniquely impressive (especially on “Johnny” where the vocals let it all go). “Picard” takes a brighter approach with a twinkly intro that feels near like a musical affirmation, the song asks the question, “how can I be my own woman, and also yours too? I’m relying on you for my own approval.” “Soft Honk” a song about creeps honking at woman, takes a pop-punk approach with gang vocals and a bouncing rhythm, but weaves in a plodding synth and a menacing bass line that keep it in darker punk territory. By the time Genevieve’s swirling chorus of “fuck you” hits, you’re in complete agreement. The world is broken, but Cry Babe are ready to take it back.