I’ll always remember the first time I spat “You’ve made my shitlist” to someone that particularly rattled my cage. Damn, it felt good. So, thanks for that one L7. I’m sure many women across the world have found the same catharsis by expelling the empoweringly venomous Lyrics as they listen to the Grungey Riot Grrrl anthem unfold.
My p*ssed off playlist curation got me thinking. Thinking about how much more Riot Grrrl tracks really empower women on an individualistic level in comparison to every other genre out there today. There’s no princess vibes because the lyrics never put women in a position of vulnerability or in a place we need to be saved. The best example of this may be the Screaming Females cover of Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off. I’m not ashamed to say I liked the original, yet Marissa poured some much needed palpable iconic Riot Grrrl passion into the track. Not to mention the badass riff that she throws in there.
Riot Grrrl is a space where we can actively feel good about collating our angst, so I’ve put together a list of my top 5 angsty Riot Grrrl tracks:
1. L7 – Shitlist My number 1 spot is pretty self-explanatory. Over the years, this track has been my ultimate anthem for kicking out toxic wastes of space. I dread to think how many people would still be in my life if I hadn’t happened across Riot Grrrl in my late teens.
2. Lunachicks – Cumming into My Own No lyrics have ever resonated within me as deeply as the lyrics for Cumming into My Own. The Lunachicks tend to have a pretty astringent approach to their music (which is absolutely beautiful). Yet there is something infinitely beautiful about the sentimentality that came from this gem of a track. “I’ve lost all anxiety worrying about pleasing me, if you do not like it I’m not sorry I’m just coming into me”.
3. Veruca Salt – Seether “I tried to keep her on a short leash” We’ve all been there right? Some passive aggressive plant pot attempts to dull our shine once they get a taste of how incandescently it burns. Well thanks to Riot Grrrl the idiots that attempt this BS are the ones that get burned
4. Jack Off Jill – Rabitteen “When he lies it meant he loves me, when he lies it meant he cared”. It’s a little less abrasive than Babes in Toyland’s track Liar, yet that’s probably what I love about Rabiteen. It’s the acknowledgement of vulnerability that lingers inside each of us but that in no way indicates naivety.
Bikini Kill – Demirep Demirep absolutely hits the nail on the head for everyone who has ever felt the tyranny of the demand to smile. Women are not obligated to be happy, they’re not obligated to keep quiet if you piss us off either. I know life would be a lot easier for the chauvinistically inclined if we bowed down to your expectations. But Riot Grrrl pioneer taught us never to be sorry since day one. I’ve never looked back.
After writing my top 5 I realised that there were about 1000 tracks that could have made the cut.
Let us know what your favourite angsty tracks are!
Amelia Vandergast, 2018
You can follow the rest of my rants along with my poetry on Twitter
Amelia Vandergast is the Editor of grrrlwithguitars.com as well as a published author, poet, content writer, journalist and critic. For more information about her successful writing career find her at https://ameliavandergast.co.uk/