It begins with Little Fists’ ‘Tyler Is Not A Feminist’- a duet of shouty loveliness and scorching guitars and cymbal-heavy drumming. “You’re the worst kind / The worst kind of liar!” they chant and shout. “Tell me again what your politics are.” Sounds like they are p*ssed at Tyler for faking being a feminist to “get laid.”
Next up is The Potentials with the rather messy ‘Moloch,’ which has a really hooky breakdown bit where the timing becomes unpredictable and gorgeously satisfying. Military drum rolls interplay with layered chants of “I met a boy on the internet/ He tells me he loves me / But we’ve never met.” It’s over too soon.
‘Something Wrong With Me’ by Nervous Twitch is all Wurlitzers and Sixties style guitars. “Lock me up in a padded room / I’m on another planet / But I’ll be back soon.” It’s more DIY girl group pop than most of the other tracks on Loud Women – Volume One. I’m pretty sure Everett True would love it.
IDestroy – ‘IDestroy’ is an anthem for nihilist women everywhere. “You’re gonna wish you never met me / I argue just for fun.” The drums are dramatic, the guitars Eighties tinged and the vocals a call to arms, punk style “I destroy I destroy I destroy everything.” It sounds good to hear these words expressed by a woman.
Madame So have captured a beautiful guitar sound on ‘Black Is Beautiful.’ It gets me dancing in my seat with it’s catchy chorus. “She says black is beautiful / She says it’s not even a colour” It’s an album highlight with it’s rolling drums and unique vocals, Gang of Four style bass, general explosiveness and beauty. Plus it makes an important point.
Fightmilk‘s ‘Chaperone’ starts off with some unexpected piano tinkling, before the guitars crash in with the drums and singer Lily’s DIY pop vocal that reminds me of CHROMA. “I don’t need a chaperone / Don’t need a plus one for my shows / And you don’t need one either.” It’s a song about female independence and it’s catchy as hell.
I had already heard Bugeye as I was planning to book them for a GRRRLS WITH GUITARS party. They have a really cool Nineties vibe to them that I love. The vocals on ‘Hey You’ are kooky and cutesy like the Primitives but more punk. It sounds like it’s being sung under water. The guitars are a steady driving force in the song as Angela Martin screams over the top. It’s aggression grrrl style now.
Next it’s Argonaut with their song ‘Not Rich’, which kicks off with a quirky acoustic guitar before heavier sounding distorted guitars erupt, lifting the energy of the song. “You have lots of money / But you’re not rich!” I LOVE singer Lorna’s voice. I want to hear more of it. The guitar solo echoes the vocals “…two three four!.. I am not jealous/ You are not rich.” It’s female-fronted early Manic Street Preachers. It’s sensationally beautiful. I want it on repeat.
Who doesn’t love a bit of cowbell? The Wimmin’s Institute instinctively know this and have added lashings of it to their song ‘Nandos.’ The lyrics are whimsical but important. It’s a danceable ode to the pressure put on women by Nice Guys™ who think of women as sexual vending machines, who owe them sex for buying them chicken dinners at Nandos. It’s humorous and unexpected but makes an important point “coz I hate the shallow objectification of women / But I do love chicken.” F*ckin right.
The final music track on the compilation is by Lilith Ai– a hard to pigeonhole artist who mixes elements of riot grrrl with soul, dancehall beats and what sounds like an Atari computer game soundtrack. It’s a riot grrrl call to arms “Riot! Riot! Revolution!” she sings. I know Lilith Ai because she started the Fight Like A Girl collective, which I am a part of. She’s an important voice in the scene.
Album closer is a poem by Janine Booth called ‘Real Rape.’ It artfully and thoughtfully explores this sensitive subject matter and the way rape is treated in our culture. How women are treated when they have been raped and how different common perceptions of what constitutes a real rape is, to who is often doing the raping- ie. ordinary people, rather than monsters and “psychos” jumping out of bushes in the dark. Her lines flow like Kate Tempest and she concisely makes her point.
Hannah Golightly founded GrrrlsWithGuitars in 2016. She is a riot grrrl musician, singer, guitarist and drummer from the UK. She has been a music critic and rock writer for over eight years and has previously written for collapseboard.com for six years, godisinthetvzine.co.uk, mother's pride zine and vulturehound.com. She has a passion for guitars and amps and owns a lot of them! She is passionate about promoting and helping grrrls and women play guitar and form bands. She loves female rock musicians' music and he favourite band is Skating Polly. She believes that a grrrl with a guitar can change the world!