Charly Bliss Young Enough

Charly Bliss Young Enough
8
On their 2017 debut, Brooklyn band Charly Bliss made no bones about their affinity for '90s alt-rockers like Letters to Cleo, Veruca Salt and Weezer. But on its followup, the quartet move past those comparisons, wearing their hearts, rather than their influences, firmly on their sleeves.
 
Trauma triggered Young Enough's creation — singer-guitarist Eva Hendricks was sexually assaulted by someone she was dating. But the record exudes celebration: the joy of having come through such a harrowing experience to the point of being able to face it head on, or as Hendricks noted in one interview, "a celebration of reaching the point of a 'fuck you' that isn't diluted by self-blame or apologies."
 
Nowhere is this more apparent than on first single, "Chatroom," where Hendricks shakes off her shame, and tears down the manipulative predator who assaulted her over a throbbing disco bass line. "I was fazed in the spotlight, his word against mine," she sings in one verse before erupting into a triumphant, sing-along chorus. "I'm not going to take you home, I'm not going to save you, no."
 
The record's pervasive sense of triumph and resilience is undergirded by an embrace of pop music. The pivot away from the crunchy guitars of Guppy is apparent from the record's opening synth swells and peaks on the skyscraping stadium rock of the title track. While the band appear to be heading off criticisms by owning the "going pop" tag, in practice the results scan as closer to the pop rock middle ground occupied by bands like Paramore than a full-blown embrace of modern pop.
 
Young Enough makes clear that the band, particularly Hendricks' knack for weaving clear-eyed narratives into her writing, aren't about to have their vision hemmed in by any one scene or sound. Charly Bliss are a band whose ambitions won't be tamed. (Barsuk)