Audio Mixer: Eric Valentine .
Recording information: Barefoot Recording, Hollywood, CA.
Photographer: Bella Howard.
While they were in middle school, 75 percent of Hey Violet were in the hard rock band Cherri Bomb, who released one album in 2012 before their lead guitarist and vocalist left the band, citing creative differences. Judging by the sound of Hey Violet's debut EP, I Can Feel It, which replaces Cherri Bomb's heavier nature with something very bouncy and punk-pop with an emphasis on the pop, the remaining members wanted to sell some records. Thanks to a hookup with 5 Seconds of Summer, who signed them to their Hi or Hey Records, they put themselves in a position to do just that. Whether they do that or not, the EP is very enjoyable for fans of spunky, shiny female-fronted pop. The highlights are the very hooky tracks like "Smash into You" and "Can't Take Back the Bullet," which balance spiky guitars with sparkling synths and spunky vocals, and find the group sounding like an updated version of Josie & the Pussycats, the 2000s edition. The super-catchy "You Don't Love Me Like You Should" probably would have been a hit single if it had been released in the '90s; it has a wonderfully stompy chorus and attitude to spare. Though the band was pretty good as Cherri Bomb, its new incarnation gets poppy-sorta-punky dead right and seems poised for bigger things to come. ~ Tim Sendra