Album Review: Death of a Cheerleader by Pom Pom Squad
Great, Based on 4 Critics
The Line of Best Fit - 90 Based on rating 9/10
She is coming off a joyous night at her high school prom, where she won the title of prom queen and lost her virginity to the heartthrob Trip Fontaine. But the man she offered so much to seems to have unceremoniously abandoned her to wake up alone, and the heart wrenching loss that follows leads to Lux's tragic ending. Later in the film, an older Trip reflects on his short affair with Lux: "Most people will never taste that kind of love.
After a couple of punchy EP's, the Mia Berrin-fronted quartet, Pom Pom Squad, deliver their debut LP with an unanticipated level of aplomb. With a stated affinity for Courtney Love, Berrin proves more nuanced and agile over the course of the album, which was co-produced by illuminati hotties leader, Sarah Tudzin. The mix of buzzy punk attitude blends in high school sock hop riffs from the 1940s and '50s, while also working in a fairly straight cover of Tommy James and the Shondells' 1968 hit "Crimson + Clover." Berrin's ability to trade blistering kiss-offs with lip-quivering sentimental ballads is more reminiscent of Chrissie Hynde and the early Pretenders albums than anything else.
In 1999, a satirical comedy film called But I'm a Cheerleader proposed an astonishing lead character: a cheerleader who isn't quite like the other girls on her team. She gets whisked away to a hilariously straight-laced conversion-therapy camp on the suspicion that she might be--gasp--gay. "I'm a cheerleader!" she whines in hesitation, as if this makes it impossible to fall outside societal norms.
'Death Of A Cheerleader' is the first feature debut by Brooklyn based group Pom Pom Squad, co-produced by vocalist Mia Berrin and Illuminati Hotties vanguard Sarah Tudzin. Alongside bandmates Shelby Keller on drums, Marie Alé Figman on bass and Alex Mercuri on guitar, Berrin visions the banalities of high school and saturates it in whimsical fantasy. The end result scrapbooks everything from late stage Riot Grrrl and 'Kerplunk'-era Green Day to Motown and Rita Hayworth's Hollywood.