Listening to Bruiser Queen is a lot like reading an old diary- equal parts aggressive, sensitive, and sweetly nostalgic. Sweet Static is the sophomore release from the St. Louis duo, who describe themselves as a garage-pop band that “blends 21st century punk with 60s girl group shimmy.” This rock/pop feel is very well represented on this album, which has a nice slew of vintage-punk anthems interspersed with more tongue-in-cheek mid-tempo tracks. The softer numbers were some of the most unique and inventive on the release, and I found myself pulled to them over and over again.
Arguably the most enjoyable track on the album is “Girl Like Me”- a haunting, soulful piece. Lead singer Morgan Nusbaum pleadingly tells the listener to “just say you love me,” and her voice dips and cracks its way to a heartbreaking authenticity. However, this song avoids any unnecessary weight and the result is a danceable, sunny grunge-pop, similar to the style of “Hunnies” from Bruiser Queen’s 2012 release, Swears.
Other notable songs include “On the Radio,” a catchy punk number, and “Ain’t It Enough,” which displays Nusbaum’s unique vocal blend of punk grit and convincing emotion. This release reflects a sense of tough-girl vulnerability, a theme that has been prevalent throughout the band’s career- in “Late July,” the phrases “too bad all your friends disbanded,” and “your fruit is rotting on the vine” are sung with a slow, burning venom. This is in complete contrast to the sugary retro-pop opener “Tiny Heart Attack.” It is this variety that makes this album so relatable- for every moment of ruthlessness, there is also a moment of sensitivity.
Recommended If You Like: Gossip, The Donnas, BBQT, Bikini Kill
Recommended Tracks: 3 (Girl Like Me), 2 (On the Radio), 7 (Ain’t It Enough)
Do Not Play: n/a
Written by Allie Heiner on 09/08/2016