Thursday, October 4, 2012

Heavy Cream Splits A Single Toasted

Jessica McFarland
If different creams are graded by their content, then nobody needs any explanation why the girls that make up the garage punk band from Nashville are graded Heavy Cream. There is nothing light about them, except their beer choice.

Playing together since 1992 (a joke, sort of), but coming together as the band Heavy Cream in 2009, they have found a solid home with Infinity Cat Records. There, they released a self-titled EP that proved their promise, Danny as their debut album (not named after their former bass player) and then Super Treatment earlier this year.

Super Treatment is a fine enough album, but the distort was too much for its own good, taking away from Jessica McFarland's vocals. The girl can belt and it's best to keep her voice clean, which is why their newest split single, Toasted, puts them back on my radar.

Toasted puts Heavy Cream back in lights. 

Toasted brings back the power of McFarland's vocals where they need to be. She powers out lyrics as effortlessly as Joan Jett's early days. That's not to say she sounds like Jett. She has her own sound.

Toasted starts up with classically heavy percussion and a few meaty, fuzzed-out chords before McFarland breaks in with her husky hard-hitting voice. "I don't want to go out tonight. I can't do it again. I don't want to go out tonight. It's coming out of my skin."

There is still some distort in the vocals, especially over the all-girl backed chorus. But this time, it's all kept in check as the band races through a power song in just over two minutes. It might sound as thin as its description, even with the heavy-handed piano keys. And yet, Toasted makes you want to do the opposite of the lyrics. You want to go out.

It also shows some new promise for the lineup that didn't start out as an all-girl band. Nowadays, it is with the lineup including McFarland, Mimi Galbeirz (guitar), Tiffany Minton (drums), and Olivia Scibelli (bass). Don't be surprised if it changes again. The most recent band shot only includes three.

Toasted also reminds me how much Watusi rocked on their first album. While Watusi was low key in comparison to other tracks put out by the band, it solidifies why their sound works and why McFarland and Galbeirz make such a great pairing.

Along with Toasted, the split includes a punch-in-the-gut song from the Coathangers. The eclectic  garage rock band from Atlanta always comes across as cool, with more art-punk tricks than any other post-punk band. Sometimes their attitude alone carries them, especially live. They're a must see.

Their single, Merry Go Round, settles down some of the sloppy goodness from Larceny & Old Lace, released last year. Taken with their last split with Davilla 666, some might sense a tighter direction for the band. Time will tell. They have two more splits ahead with their label Suicide Squeeze Records.

Suicide Squeeze Records put out only 750 editions of this split, with the 250 opaque red presses already sold out before the release date. The earlier split was sold out months ago. (The digital edition still exists though.)

Toasted By Heavy Cream Belts 6.8 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale. 

Yeah, I know it's the Coathangers' split and Suicide Squeeze Records is the hero in pulling it together. But I also think I need to let the series of four splits settle in with Meredith (bass), Julia (guitarist), Candice (keys), and Steph (drums) of the Coathangers. I love the new lineup and direction of the band whereas Heavy Cream has already come together.

All in all, both singles rock. You can find Merry Go Round b/w Toasted on Amazon. You can also download the split from iTunes. If you want to hear more from either band, start with Danny by Heavy Cream or Scramble by the Coathangers. Hat tip to Suicide Squeeze Records for a near perfect split.
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