You don’t want to try and tell teenage punk-rockers Care Bears on Fire what to do, or say, or wear, and you don’t want to ask these young women to turn their music down. Their new EP, “Girls Like it Loud,” included on Robert Christgau’s 20 Best Albums of 2010 list, sounds awesome the louder you play it—which, once you hear it, will be over and over again.
Over the last few years these Brooklyn natives have built a reputation for playing old-school punk rock with a modern riot grrrl message, and a sense of humor. The members of Care Bears on Fire, Sophie (lead vocals, guitar), Izzy (drums) and Jena (bass), have made a name for themselves on radio and TV, most notably on Late Night with David Letterman as well as playing the festival circuits from SXSW to Lollapalooza.
After the success of their first album, “Get Over It!” (S-Curve Records) the pressure was on to drop out of school. Instead Care Bears on Fire chose to stay, balancing recording sessions with French lessons, touring dates with chemistry finals, and homework with hosting an all-ages matinee series at the Lower East Side’s Cake Shop. Now, just like one-time teenage girl rockers The Donnas and The Runaways, Care Bears on Fire are hitting their stride in high school, and as their new EP, “Girls Like it Loud” demonstrates, hitting it with a vengeance.
“ATM,” the first single off their EP, is an empowering punk anthem for all women, young and old, urging them to take control and protect themselves against those who might take advantage them. An indie-pop sound reminiscent of Bratmobile emerges in, “Ask me How I Am” a musical slap upside the head to crushes who don’t seem not to notice you exist. While the more autobiographical “What I Could Be” describes the challenges of trying to balance the dream of getting to make music and have your voice heard, with the reality of school and wanting to spend time with family and friends. The band also takes on two surprising covers and makes each their own. In “Red Lights,” a cover of a song by 1970s punk band The Marbles, CBOF tweaks the classic rock-god-worship of a charismatic male performer, by reimagining the star as the magnetic, all mighty female rock star. Their punk cover of the New Wave classic, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” steadily escalates into a joyful frenzy, the chorus a screaming declaration of our own secret desires. Who in their right mind wouldn’t want these whipsmart, powerful, young women to one day rule the world? Sounds great to us.
“You’ll dig the beat, lead singer Sophie’s adorably badass Joan Jett vibe, and the defiant-but-age-appropriate lyrics.” –Entertainment Weekly PopWatch
“Care Bears on Fire…were precociously great pop-punk; the Brooklyn middle-schoolers sang the cheeky ‘Barbie Ate a Sandwich’ with gusto.” –SPIN.com
“This trio of sound-tasticocity, however, is prime for rocking thanks to a unique sense of self and sound…” –NY Post Blog
“Care Bears on Fire were one of the most refreshing acts of the day…way cooler than most of us were at that age.” –OC Register
“…one of the best bands of the festival…Care Bears on Fire, comprised of three teenage girls from Brooklyn, wowed…with some of the most authentic, classic punk music at The Bamboozle.” –New Jersey Star Ledger
“I wish I’d been in such a cool band when I was that age!” –Buzzsugar.com
“The next generation finally has a band worth idolizing!” –VentVox
“…one of the coolest and, well, cutest rock videos.” –Crashinin.com
“…their name, Care Bears on Fire, says it all… They have the sound and a sharp rebel spirit.” –MusicNewsNet.com