When you think bands that have opened for Foo Fighters, The Smashing Pumpkins and Steel Panther, the name Hey Violet probably does not come to mind. That is because they used to be called Cherri Bomb, a popular female rock band from the late 2000s. Now under the new name Hey Violet, the band has released a new album called “From the Outside.”
Hey Violet contains most of the same band members as Cherri Bomb did with the addition of two new members on lead guitar and bass. Creative differences is cited as the main reason why the band departed from original lead singer Julia Pierce.
The band has gone in a complete different direction with their sound; “From the Outside” is proof that a risky move like that can pay off.
“From the Outside” is a 12 track record that is 42 minutes in length. Although it is a pop-influenced record, there is a lot of substance. This is not your typical pop album that uses the same four chords in every song.
Musically, the best word to describe this album is synthesizers. While there are some tracks that don’t rely to heavily on synths, there are tracks like “Break My Heart” that hit in the face with a wall of sound that is mostly synths.
What sets this record apart from the rest of pop music is that you don’t get the feeling that you’ve listened to it before. Each song is different enough that it doesn’t show any repetitive rhythms or beats. You get totally different sounding tracks, especially in the songs “Brand New Moves” and “Unholy.” This is the strongest aspect of the entire record. With enough diversity from track to track, listeners will find something new to appreciate with each listen.
Lyrically, this is where “From the Outside” starts to get shaky. While it is a pop record, it doesn’t try to do anything outside the norm with subject matter. Most songs deal with past relationships while a few deal with current relationships.
The one song that sticks out is “All We Ever Wanted.” It has the most fun and isn’t trying to be anything it’s not. For a banger, that is exactly what you want it to do.
Then, you listen to the track “O.D.D,” which is arguably the darkest song on the entire record. This is a track that deals with more personal struggles, and while it has a huge dance beat accompanying it, there is something somber and soothing about it.
While there are some generic “this song is about an ex” tracks on this record, some of them are a bit more elaborate. For example, when you listen to “Fuqboi,” you feel the pain that went into the track. Overall, this is the one area of the record where its greatest strength is also its greatest weakness.
Should you listen to it?: Yes
What Hey Violet has done with “From the Outside” is remarkable. In addition to releasing a summer infused breakup pop album, they have shown the world that music is a constantly evolving medium. While the band may not be opening for Foo Fighters or any other rock acts anymore, they have proven they deserve to be a headlining act for sure.
Collegian reporter Alec Erickson can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @CTV_Ace.