A provocative pop document, with mixed results...

Half UK-half US girl band Nasty Cherry as their five-episode Netflix docuseries I’m With The Band: Nasty Cherry makes clear is the band that Chali XCX wanted to put together since she was a teenager.

The alt-pop quartet – consisting of Chloe Chaidez, Debbie Know-Hewson, Gabriette Bechtel and Georgia Somary – makes music that can be best described as “bratty pop” and that’s exactly what they offer on their debut EP, titled ‘Season 1’.

Opening with ‘Music With Your Dad’, the beginning is decent as a catchy bassline and chorus manages to pull listeners in, but it’s track number two of six - ‘Fuck Modern Love’ - with its groovy, slow soundscape and sultry vocals that becomes the first highlight, warranting a replay.

Following this high, comes a jarring low with ‘Live Forever’, an upbeat track with shouty, supposed-to-be catchy lyrics that don’t quite make the impact it’s meant to; strangely reminiscent of the kind of music one would have heard on old-school Disney channel. It’s not bad music, by any stretch, but it also not the kind of music you’d expect from “the best band of 2019” - as their debut Instagram post proudly proclaimed earlier in the year.

But they bounce back almost immediately, winning (pun completely intended) listeners back with ‘Win’, arguably the best track on the EP. Perfectly embodying the empowerment, self-confidence and the “we don’t give a fuck” attitude they’ve come to represent to their social media following, the track is anthemic – suitable to blast on speakers when in need of a pick-me-up- and for a group that consists of two previously untrained members, it’s an incredibly impressive effort.

The band have previously mentioned in interviews that their dream is to be the “modern-day rock’n roll version of the Spice Girls”. And they seem to be working towards it, if the penultimate – and technically final - track of ‘Season 1’ is anything to go by. Titled ‘Brain Soup’, it’s catchy, dance-worthy and lyrically reminds one of ‘Wannabe’, as a celebratory nonchalance takes over. 

The final “song” of the track list is not a song at all. ‘Hello We’re Nasty Cherry’ is a 17-second snippet of the foursome chatting, laughing and listening to music, signing off with “thanks for listening!” – it’s not necessary addition, but it further establishes the connection the band have been working to build with their fans throughout 2019.

Overall, ‘Season 1’ proves that Nasty Cherry is a diamond in the rough. Youthful and enthusiastic, there is definitely potential here - Charli might be onto something great by bringing these four women together- however there’s more polishing to be done, after which the quartet can have their shot at truly becoming “the biggest band”; they’re on their way, but they aren’t there just yet.

6/10

Words: Malvika Padin

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