Despite almost 20 years of making records, Blonde Redhead have never had that breakthrough album …
Seeing as they share their band name with a Bratmobile song, one would expect a heaping dose of riot grrl from Portland’s Cool Schmool. Time Doesn’t Care blends such punk fierceness with 1960s Phil Spector sweetness. This dichotomy is pretty well encapsulated by the blend of pop-sensible background vocals with Kaitie Hereford’s sneering leads. It amounts to a pillowy cotton candy landscape for Hereford to slouch and swagger through.
“I’m a Mess” is a stand-out track. It starts as a punk’s apology (“I really don’t mean to be such a mess”) and ends in remarkable three-part vocal harmonies, resembling some form of grace. Album closer, the introspective “Wavy Waves,” also sticks with you after hearing it. The album title is lifted from its refrain, “Time doesn’t care about me.”
With its “don’t wannas,” “don’t cares” and “blah blah blahs,” Time Doesn’t Care is Daria revitalized. The band wears their Portlandness on their sleeves: “Heading down to the Know, another night, catch another show.”
Sticking to a purist’s garage pop palette, Cool Schmool does a lot with a little–never repeating themselves in the ten-song Time Doesn’t Care. Tangled relationships, ambivalence and an unpretentious tribute to the lifestyles of the young and restless characterize the LP. It goes from punk to pop without ever going pop punk. Throw it in your headphones and amble down to The Know, ya know?