I first found out about tween punk-pop sensation Care Bears on Fire when I went to hear the 13-year-old drummer's dad, Rob Spillman, editor of literary juggernaut Tin House, speak. After reading an essay about what a poseur he was in high school, listening to 'rebellious' music but not rebelling beyond cranking up the volume of his stereo, he explained why he's in awe of his daughter Izzy: She plays in an all-girl punk band not because she wants to be different, but because she is different. The Care Bears' second album Get Over It! (S-Curve) was released today, and features some serious rocking out by Izzy and her pals Sophie and Jena, that will appeal to more than just their 8th and 9th-grade peers. Read on for more about the album. [Jessica Machado]
Izzy met Sophie in third grade and formed the band two years later, in 2005 (Jena joined at the end of last year). The Care Bears don't play extremely technical chords, nor do they channel Sonic Youth's reverb-heavy garage noise; this Brooklyn trio simply plays polished pop punk. But what stands out is a natural notion of cool--they exude a sense of fearlessness that makes adults envious and makes teens going through mutual angst scream, 'Yes! Finally, someone gets it!'
The Care Bears rip on a 'Pleaser,' a type of girl 'who's never pleased/always trying to get what she needs,' and a 'Superteen,' whose bottled water 'purifies' her after she eats her processed cheese. But on 'Heart's Not There' these social observers of middle school bullshit are toughest on anyone who questions their vulnerability singing, 'Use me again, I don't care. Can't use me if my heart's not there.'
The trio also isn't afraid to make fun of us meddling adults. On 'Met You on MySpace,' the title alone sounds like an invitation into some secret online world of teens chatting up creepy hornballs, but instead, the joke is on us losers who've seen too many Dateline specials. The object of desire that Sophie croons she's gotten close to, shared secrets with, and was then deceived by isn't a boy. It's a unicorn. 'But our relationship was torn when I found out you had a horn.' Very clever, girls. You got me. Like a tormented adolescent, I'm smitten. [Jessica Machado]