Finally some good news in the times of plague: London-via-California quartet CHARMPIT are releasing their debut album. “Cause A Stir” will arrive on 3rd of April. And even more good news – it is a brilliant LP, full of swinging, tongue-in-cheek punk/pop songs, sweet harmonies and grooves like it’s a Malibu beach party.
Maybe it’s just me, but the album makes me feel quite nostalgic. Despite modern production, it has a distinctive 1990’s California punk flavour to it, mixed with a lot of early Lollapalooza and Lilith Fair. It’s not hard to imagine “Wild Wild Westfield” on the “Clueless” soundtrack or on The Billboard Top 40 squeezed between “Ruby Soho” by Rancid and “Seether” by Veruca Salt. The 14 year old me would have played this album to death and memorized the lyrics within the first 24 hours. The 40 year old me now hopes that the band will be able to bring the female led rock music back to the mainstream. No pressure ladies and a gent but it’s been long overdue.
“Cause A Stir” starts with what can be described as an instruction of how to start a band and an intro in one. Standing at 1 minute 28 seconds, “Do It Together” is the shortest track on the album, but contains so much positive energy and humour that doctors should be prescribing it to the general public. It gets better and better with each song. “Jimnastics” and “Princes Video” are absolute summer festivals anthems (please listen to the monologue at the end of “Jimnastics” and try to keep a straight face, I dare you!) and should be released as singles. Funky in a princess-punk-pop style “Dyed And Gone to Hairven” is probably making HAIM and The Big Moon green with envy and the slow, closing number “Baby Needs A Breeze” is like a perfectly prepared pina-colada on a hot day.
2020 might be a really bad year for the gig industry but musically, it is one of the strongest in years. With “Cause A Stir”, CHARMPIT have an real banger on their hands. The LP is filled to the brim with great melodies and radio-friendliness. Let’s hope it will be appropriately appreciated.