“We honestly don't get into that much trouble,” says Tiffany Minton, the drummer of Nashville garage-rock band Heavy Cream. “We've had our dark streaks, but now we're all just basically fun-loving gals.”
The four-piece's sophomore album, "Super Treatment," gives the exact opposite impression. The 11 new songs are overblown, blistering and thrashing, and Heavy Cream sounds like a band that wakes up each morning covered in bloody scars and gnarly scabs. Lead singer Jessica McFarland growls like Joan Jett during her Runaways years, and Mimi Galbierz's fuzzed-out guitar buzzes and grinds like a million chainsaws running amok.
The band sounds so massive and bellicose that even Minton was shocked the first time she heard the album. It was recorded and mixed during five quick days spent in San Francisco's Bauer Mansion studio with the musician Ty Segall, who is one of the leading visionaries of the current garage-rock revival. Segall handed them the tape just before Heavy Cream hopped on a Nashville-bound plane.
“We were all like, 'Wow, this is really loud and intense,'” says Minton. “Mimi's riffs and fuzz pedal make it sound so hard! I mean, we all just really blew it out!”
"Super Treatment" was released May 8 on Infinity Cat, the independent label run by rock band Jeff The Brotherhood. A few days later, Heavy Cream celebrated the release with a live concert and crawfish boil at a local, all-ages venue/warehouse called the Zombie Shop with fellow Nashvilleans Cheap Time and Fox Fun.
“It was a night of good friends, good food, good beer, and good bands,” says Minton. “It was a great hang.”
In the past few years, Nashville has become a hotbed for garage-rock music. Labels like Infinity Cat and Jack White's Third Man, and studios such as Battle Tapes have been diligently documenting the now-thriving scene, which rose up from D.I.Y. house and warehouse shows across the city. But when Minton moved there 10 years ago to study music business at Belmont University, she says it was a completely different place.
“I came to Nashville thinking I would be in the business, but I quickly realized that the mainstream music industry here sucks,” she says. “It's soul-sucking, and it's a waste of time, so I just joined a punk-rock band instead. I didn't want to be pushing paper for some major label forever. And it turns out I wasn't the only person to think this way.”
At the time, however, Minton noticed that Nashville lacked underground venues, and this was stifling the scene. Minton and other likeminded musicians also had to wrestle with Nashville's deeply entrenched music traditions, which, for decades, have centered around mainstream country and pop music.
“But house shows started popping up and becoming more frequent about five years ago," says Minton, "and more touring bands started coming through because new venues started opening. Now there's a collective rock culture happening here, and Nashville has a thriving underground music scene.”
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