The thumping, squealing opening moments of “Love Me”, the first song on their debut EP Soft Serve, serve as a proper introduction to the working m.o. of Charly Bliss. The scratched out guitar wails progress without respite and when Eve Hendricks upper-register yowl somehow supersedes the massive amount of noise behind it, there is a moment of reckoning in which one’s own definition of what constitutes “pop” is challenged. There is no doubt, all three songs on Soft Serve are “pop” in the truest sense; enough so that some of the moments in “Love Me” sound like a Chvrches-gone-grunge — no way a bad turn of events, and something recently more and more explored.
Theirs is a particular brand of pop, one quite adequately described by the band themselves as “bubblegrunge”, an obviously delineated hybrid of the 90’s unabashed love for fuzzy guitar tones, and an overwhelming need for the concept and sound of popular music (that being popular music as determined by the computers or soulless masses who chart songs) to be redefined. On “Urge to Purge”, Bliss takes a step back from the insane sugar high of “Love Me” while still keeping everything loud. “Strings” takes a similar avenue, and rounds out the EP with a more polished feel. When Hendricks announces, “I like you like I like your things, in the boxes that I put them in” while the band smashes into the chorus, it is near impossible to avoid screaming along.