It has been HOT in Toronto this week. That suffocating heat that you are unable to truly escape no matter how many pools you jump into, popsicles you eat, or air conditioned spaces you sit in. It also happens to be the ideal temperature to listen to the pop-punk sounds of your teenage years and better yet, pop-punk that sounds as irritated and lustful as the stifling heat has made you feel. Cue BB Cream.
The self-titled record from Ottawa’s BB Cream is a ragbag of lo-fi instrumentals and hi-fi emotions. Alanna Why’s off-kilter vocals relay quick-witted stories about having crushes, navigating friendships, getting your heart broken, loving yourself, and so much more. Adding a little sweetener to BB Cream is the band’s bopping use of power-chords and super slick pop melodies. In “Do U Wanna” the combo makes for a sickly sweet perfume that makes you feel drunk while in “Pool Hall” things get a little softer though the poppiness gets no less heady.
Lyrically, there’s so many gems in BB Cream that shine either because they are startling poignant, hilarious, or some fantastic combination of both: “6 Dog” references Drake, Weezer, and Nap Eyes (what a trio!), “Good Girl” turns the girl-next-door-type meets boy-next-door-type narrative on its head as Why screams, “I think I wanna kiss you but I think I’d rather be you”, and this brilliant second verse of “Heroine” – “He thinks slumming it is where it’s at asks if I’ve read Kerouac/Hand on thigh, the line is blurred “You’re so cute, you don’t need words./I guess that’s why I don’t trust men because it’s always about the hero not the heroine” – makes the track an album highlight.
BB Cream are charming and honest and the record makes for a fun listen. Listening to it might make your skin clearer too. But I can’t promise that.
Top Track: “Heroine”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)