SXSW: Charly Bliss is the sound of riding a go-kart into traffic
Are you tired, run-down, listless? Do you poop out at parties? Are you unpopular? The answer to all your problems is Charly Bliss.
The Brooklyn band, led by the jolt to the system that is Eva Hendricks, hit up several South by Southwest showcases this year, including a Scoot Inn set I caught Sunday night. Charly Bliss’ 2017 album, “Guppy,” makes you want to ride a go-kart off the track and merge into highway traffic on your way to a party where the drinks are free and they're all carbonated. And Hendricks’ recorded vocals, while we're making metaphors, sit in a register that could be described as “the altitude at which peregrine falcons are able to maintain cruising speed.” In other words, I wondered how such high-powered high notes would sound live.
They sound like a peregrine falcon achieving and maintaining cruising speed.
Hitting through catchy “Guppy” faves like “Ruby” and urgent new tracks like “Chatroom,” the band’s poppy alt-rock surged off the stage from start to finish, a crackling wave of guitar fuzz and drums that made your neck swing on its axis. Hendricks seems truly superhuman — aggressively sparkling behind a voluminous dress made of copper tinsel, she stuck every vocal landing with punky gumption. Jumping compulsory; please be mindful of choruses flying toward your head.
Charly Bliss’ new album, “Young Enough,” is out in May. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the two acts that played the Scoot Inn stage before them, both worth a listen: swaggering Brooklyn punks Grim Streaker and Maine catharsis rockers Weakened Friends. Check ’em out.