The members of Care Bears On Fire met in grade school, but it wasn't until several years later that they got together to form the band. This trio of twelve year olds is a surprisingly talented group, if their debut album I Stole Your Animal is any indication. Following the classic electric guitar, bass, and drums format, with a tinge of jaded punk vocals, the 11 tracks on the album are varied in both musical arrangements and lyrical content.
One might wonder how a twelve year old would have enough life experience to write songs that would appeal to the masses. Lead vocals and guitar are performed by Sophie, who happens to also be the band's core songwriter. She touches on topics that range from junior high relationships ("5 Minute Boyfriend") to the burden of depression ("Shadow Girl") with as much lyrical skill as most anyone at least twice her age would do.
On the surface, one might be tempted to scoff at a song called "Met You On MySpace," but that would be a mistake. It's fitting that a band that takes its name from mythical creatures would use a mythical creature as a warning to be cautious in online social networking sites, since as the classic New Yorker cartoon states: on the internet, no one knows you are a dog (or a unicorn, in this case).
I will note, however, that it's hard to take the individualist anthem "Everybody Else" very seriously when the cover and liner note pictures show three classic emo kids. We all want to be unique, but I remember what it was like to be in the culture of junior high (or middle school), and it's darn near impossible to stand out too much, unless you have heavy shielding around your ego.
Maybe the song is trying to speak to that pressure. Maybe I'm too jaded and old to appreciate the naïveté. Maybe I just need to stop analyzing it and take it at face value. Regardless, it has a catchy chorus hook, so if you find your self walking around singing, "nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah I don't want to be like everybody else," perhaps it has fulfilled its purpose.
The best songs on the album are front-loaded, which is probably good for introducing a new band, but I think they would have been better to put them on an EP and take the time to improve the rest or write more songs before recording them. Still, it's a must-have for modern rock fans. When the band hits the top, you'll be able to boast to your friends that you were listening to them all they way back in '07.