If you haven’t already figured it out, judging by the name of this blog, I am a huge riot grrrl fan, and I also identify as one. So it was clear that I couldn’t have a Fun-a-Day month of album-listening without some riot grrrl in it. I picked Bratmobile and Le Tigre because they’re bands that I already know and love but haven’t listened to all their albums. And I picked Julie Ruin because Kathleen Hanna is awesome. Unfortunately, the albums I picked didn’t reflect said awesomeness, to put it mildly. It was a terrific blow to my riot grrrl persona and I’ve never felt more disappointed in my choice of music.
Bratmobile – Pottymouth (3.5/5)
Back when I discovered riot grrrl, Bratmobile featured among my top bands along with Bikini Kill and L7. But back then, I just found a few of their songs on Limewire because HMV wasn’t selling any of their records. I listened to Pottymouth last Saturday expecting to hop around my living room to their fast beats, rough distortion and profane lyrics. But I didn’t. I mean, some of their songs sound like the same good old Bratmobile I know and love. But some of them just sound like grade-school playground teasing songs, with a profane twist. I’m pretty sure that this was exactly what Bratmobile was aiming for, judging by their name. But I think they could have done much better. A little more power, a little more spirit, and much more riot grrrl.
Le Tigre – This Island (3.5/5)
I have Le Tigre’s self-titled album and I can honestly say that it is a completely different league than This Island. Le Tigre’s lyrics, vocals, distorted guitar and electro-pop sound effects are all so much better on their self-titled. Despite that, Kathleen Hanna’s vocals are as powerful as ever. But somehow, this record just didn’t do it for me. It needs to be said that TKO is an incredible song. I felt shivers up and down my spine when the verse flows into the chorus with a crescendo that multiplies by the guitars and the doubled vocals. If the entire record had been like that song, it would have been perfect. But with boring monotonous songs like “Nanny Nanny Boo Boo” and the title song, This Island is just bland.
Julie Ruin – Self-titled (2/5)
If Le Tigre and Bratmobile didn’t disappoint me enough, along comes Julie Ruin to finish the job. They sound just like Le Tigre, with less energy if that were even possible. I still love Kathleen Hanna’s vocals and a very few select songs are passable, but the music sucks. There is really no other way to say it. It sucks. There is no depth, no dimensions, no overwhelming sense of oh-my-god-I-can-feel-my-heart-swell. Where is the former brutality and rawness that is Bikini Kill? Julie fucking ruined it. I’m so disappointed and upset, I can’t get over it. Bikini Kill of the early 90’s is simply the best thing ever. No other riot grrrl projects can ever compare or even come close. Screw post-riot grrrl. So not for me.
What a stupid post to add on a riot grrrl fan site, seriously.
Fuck it, tomorrow I’m resuming my metal playlist with yet another CD of Kataklysm and then Astarte. Then some other metal bands I haven’t heard of before. I hope I will find some that will blow my face off like Winds of Plague did.
Peace, love and I miss growls.