Nashville’s Heavy Cream return with a sophomore record of white-hot, adrenalized garage punk. Produced by influential lo-fi artist Ty Segall and recorded by Eric Bauer in Los Angeles, Super Treatment blazes, brutal yet simultaneously catchy. It’s surprisingly metal, considering Ty Segall’s 8-track past, but this time around he helps the band conjure monolithic chunks of fuzzed-out guitar.
A dismissive hipster who doesn’t listen to music may disregard this Nashville quartet as another Vivian Girls clone, judging solely on the fact that three members of the band belong to the female gender. This jaded cognoscente would be missing out on the most muscular rock ‘n roll record of the year. If there are hearts, they would be broken. If there are flowers, they would be wilted. If there are high heels, they would be stomping.
Many comparisons to other girl groups, like The Runaways or The Donnas, have been made, and there are some sonic similarities. Jessica McFarland certainly has the snottiness down–a gritty biting purr–and there is a certain suggestive swagger to their music. On Super Treatment the band sounds more like a stoner doom metal band playing a set of Buzzcocks’ and Blue Cheer covers than a Nancy Sinatra tribute band. Mimi Galbierz’s guitar sounds like a liquid metal tsunami while Tiffany Minton’s drumming pummels and pounds, before smoothly segueing into some classic R&B swing. Heavy Cream is full of contradictions, and this is a good thing.
Too often, the gender is the main focus of reviewers, when discussing a girl rock group. This may be all well and good, if that is the main focus of the band, like the riot grrls and their gender politics. Heavy Cream will not be so easily pigeonholed, they defy easy codification. They sweetly blend the punk rock venom with barn storming metallic fuzz and catchy sing-along vocals, to create something sublime.
References to fast-driving and chain smoking are perhaps inevitable when listening to an energetic rock ‘n roll record, but there is more to Heavy Cream than that. They seem like a group of friends that have described their tours as a prolonged sleepover. Considering their chumminess, the addition of a couple of new members, and a dedicated work ethic, this band is one to watch out for. On Super Treatment, Heavy Cream have managed to fashion something totally classic!