If 60’s surf music met Phil Spector while shooting the breeze with Lou Reed and Nico then the end studio result would probably end up something like Birmingham base duo Cherry Pickles’ spiky new debut album Cherry Pickles Will Harden Your Nipples.
The band (Brazilian born Priscila B on vocals and guitar, and Brit Mimi B on drums) confirm they only have cheap equipment and two drums to go at. However, they make the very most of what they have with a homespun, lo-fi, distinctly fuzzy sound. In the nicest way, I hope this band never get around to an instrument upgrade as this sound and album is a cult classic in the making.
There’s 11 two minute epics on Cherry Pickles Will Harden Your Nipples with a golden thread of influences stretching back through surf, the Velvet Underground and then onto 70’s US underground punk, 80’s psychobilly, and the early spiky girls are doing it for themselves UK punk of the likes of the Delta 5. With a genre of music stretching back over 50 years it’s all about how you piece together and blend that rich musical heritage into a current and vital new tapestry, and Cherry Pickles achieve a very rich weave. Those into Hives, the Velvet Underground and the Cramps will find happy sanctuary here.
Of the songs on the album, I think my favourite is the longest (at 3 minutes) Jimmy the Werewolf. Here I get a vibe for what Nico doing a stripped back version of the Stones’ You Cant Always Get What You Want might sound like. There’s such a lovely feel of distortion on this track it truly is perfectly special.
Fantama is a popular live opener, and has some latin vibes with the maracas adding to the Cramps style beat behind Priscila’s cool and slightly unhinged vocal delivery. Latin Discotheque is a cute tale about how in the cold light of day you realise that last night went on a bit too long and you regret some of the things you said. It Will All End In Tears really reminds me of a warped version of one of those early 60’s Phil Spector harmony groups. This is a lovely one to sing along to while completely off your face (c’mon we all do it).
Overall, Cherry Pickles have produced a memorable and classic 23 minutes of pure lo fi heaven. If you have the spare cash, your (perhaps unborn) children will see you in a different light in years to come if they discover you happen to have a first edition coloured vinyl copy of Cherry Pickles Will Harden Your Nipples in the attic. Drop on over here for more details
It would be unseemly (and probably puke inducing) for a gentleman of my advancing years to reveal whether cherry pickles will indeed harden my nipples, but let’s just say I’m not going to be taking my jacket off anytime soon just in case.