Big Scary Monsters Records
Leeds based duo Kamikaze Girls released their debut album, Seafoam, a few days ago on June 9th, the album, which follows on from last years critically acclaimed Sad EP, has been issued via Big Scary Monsters Records in Europe and Wiretap Records in North America. The album marks a shift away from the Sad EP, whilst Seafoam maintains their commitment to political and social change, it demonstrates a broader range of musical influences and styles that doesn’t diminish the impact of their brutally honest and personal lyrics, rather it makes the new album feel somehow more focused and accessible, and this is important for a band whose message is one that I think needs be heard.
Seafoam kicks off with the dark and haunting One Young Man that segues into the intense Berlin, this was the lead single from the album and you can see why it was chosen as the track to grab your attention. There seems to be a more confrontational attitude to the songs, a change that is exemplified on the intense KG Goes To The Pub, a track that challenges attitudes and stereotypes with an enviable level of venom and fury, but this is counterbalanced by tracks that display a greater level of subtlety and harmony. Tracks like the superb Unhealthy Love channel northern post punk influences whilst still lyrically packing as much of a punch, I Don’t Want To Be Sad Forever comes across as a manifesto for much needed change before the bonus track, Anxious, lays bare the realities of managing mental health issues.
From the start it’s clear that a lot has changed since the release of their Sad EP last year, Kamikaze Girls sound like a band whose confidence has grown and their mix of punk, riot grrrl, shoegaze and post punk gives them a unique place in the British punk scene. Whilst the Sad EP sounded like an act of catharthis, Seafoam in comparison comes across as coming from a more hopeful place, issues are still confronted, a change of perspective doesn’t mean that Kamikaze Girls have in anyway abandoned their principles or the attitude that lies at the heart of the band, this just sounds like they have come to terms with the past and are now focused on confronting the future head on.
You can order the digital release of Seafoam here and physical formats can be purchased here (EU) and here (US)
Little Dickman Records
The core of Sharkmuffin is the New York duo of Tarra Thiessen and Natalie Kirch, along with other musicians who flesh out their line up for live shows, currently the line up is augmented by Drew Adler on drums and Chris Nunez on guitar, and has previously included Hole‘s Patty Schemel. The duo proudly integrate a wide range of influences into their sound, everything from The Ronettes to Nirvana is thrown into the melting pot to create a unique combination of styles, now Sharkmuffin have released their sophomore album, Tsuki, that follows on from their 2015 debut full length, Chartreuse. Tsuki is available via Little Dickman Records from today, the 5th May 2017, on celestial splatter vinyl and download formats.
Tsuki starts with a short introduction that contains some wise words on Grandmother Sharkmuffin Says, “don’t worry about shit but you go have a fun time”, following that piece of wisdom Sharkmuffin seem intent on following her advice. Space Glow kicks in and manages to embrace their broad influences with a short slice of lo-fi garage punk, but that’s not the end of the story. The attitude and delivery varies across the whole of Tsuki, whether it’s the full on fuzz of Stacey, the more sinister vibe of the innocent sounding Puppy Love, the dark undercurrent of I Wanna Be You, the unsettling mid way marker of Atama or the twisted sixties pop of Too Much Fun and unsettling psyche soundscape of Scully Is A Sharkmuffin, this is album that veers wildly across genre’s.
Grandmother Sharkmuffin clearly knows her stuff as Sharkmuffin have delivered an album that manages to embrace the swagger of garage punk, the attitude of the punk and the drive of grunge, which are all wrapped up in a twisted lo-fi pop sensibility. There is a heavy influence from the riot grrrl and grunge scenes, along with an ever pervading sway from the worlds of punk and garage, in short Tsuki is an incredibly original hybrid of pretty much everything from the headier side of the alternative scenes, not an easy trick to pull off but Sharkmuffin have done exactly that with an idiosyncratic and unpredictable album.
Tsuki can be ordered via Little Dickman Records here
Sharkmuffin‘s website can be found here
Rebel Dykes is a documentary about a bunch of kick ass post-punk women who lived the life in London in the 1980s, the documentary film is being made because the history of the London Rebel Dykes of the 1980s is in danger of being forgotten. Rebel Dykes created their own world, made their own rules, and refused to be ignored. We can’t let history tidy them away. They were a bunch of kickass women in leather jackets who made their own punk bands, zines and squats. They were the first generation of sex positive outlaw women, and nothing has been quite the same since.
The crowdfunder page can be found here and Rebel Dykes website is here
You can read more about, and view the trailer for, Rebel Dykes below
Burn The Beauty Queen
Hands Off Gretel were formed by Lauren Tate and Sean McAvinue prior to Hands Off Gretel bursting onto the UK alternative scene early last year when they released their debut EP, Be Mine. Their line up has been augmented with additions of Sam Hobbins, drums, and Joe Scotcher, bass, prior to Hands Off Gretel launching themselves into 2016 with unrestrained zeal. They have retained the DIY ethic and everything about Burn The Beauty Queen, from the artwork to the release of the album, has been done completely and uncompromisingly on their own terms.
Opening track Queen Of The Universe sends a serious message of intent and it builds you up ready for the punkier vibe of the single One Eyed Girl, the album continues to veer between slow burning dark menace and adrenalized numbers. For me Always Right is the stand out track from Burn The Beauty Queen, and is a serious contender for one of my favourite songs of the year, but that’s not to do the rest of the album a disservice, as there isn’t a single weak moment on Burn The Beauty Queen. This is a searing debut album and further proof that Hands Off Gretel are headed upwards and if this doesn’t happen then something is very wrong with the universe.
You can hear the incendiary tones of the likes of The Distillers and Hole in their DNA, along with the influence of the attitude from the riot grrrl movement and bands like L7 and Cay, a band that sadly lie largely forgotten in punks history. I was fortunate to catch Hands Off Gretel at this years Rebellion Festival and I was blown away by just how good they were live, Burn The Beauty Queen only serves to confirm my initial impression that Hands Off Gretel are one of the best new bands to have come from the UK in the last few years.
I can’t think of another debut album from 2016 that’s impressed me this much, Burn The Beauty Queen is an album that you need in your collection. It combines the attitude of punk and the riot grrrl movement but they have channelled that anger and energy to create a fuzz drenched classic that is quite simply one of the best albums I’ve heard this year.
Hands Off Gretel are on tour in the UK for the remainder of 2016 and their tour dates can be found here
You can purchase Burn The Beauty Queen directly from Hands Off Gretel here
Bearded Punk Records
Kamikaze Girls are a UK based duo that is comprised of Lucinda Livingstone, guitars and vocals, and Conor Dawson, drums, that has been in existence since 2014. They have been touring Europe and the USA alongside many well known acts, including Muncie Girls, Pup, The Menzingers and Modern Baseball, all the while building a solid fanbase, now with Sad they have released their eagerly awaited debut release.
Challenging attitudes and stereotypes has been an element of punk since day one, Kamikaze Girls use their music as a means to challenge attitudes and taboos surrounding mental health and gender inequality. Musically they are rooted in the Riot Grrrl movement of the 1990’s, Kamikaze Girls play a fuzzed up discordant take on punk that alternates between aggression and mellow tones, the vocals mirror this approach, Lucinda Livingstone alternates between a deadpan breathless delivery and screams of anguish, which is appropriate given the subject matter they cover. Kamikaze Girls have stated that their aim is to show strength and solidarity with others suffering mental heath issues and to eradicate gender stereotypes in music, worthy ambitions that are backed up with an impressive vitriolic wall of noise that sounds like it was more than the product of just a duo.
Sad is an honest and open EP that discusses subjects that are still considered taboo, or are glossed over and ignored by mainstream media, and for that alone they are worthy of your attention, but there’s more to them than just their lyrical content. The music is a discordant fuzzy noise that recalls the likes of Bikini Kill in their prime, if you’re a fan of Riot Grrrl or socially aware punk rock then the Kamikaze Girls debut EP will be something you should investigate. Sad is a grass roots DIY EP whose message says some of the things that need saying.
The Kamikaze Girls Sad
EP can be ordered here
The time has finally come for Hands Off Gretel to send out all the pre-orders of their debut album Burn The Beauty Queen along with t-shirts, zines, photographs and everything else that people ordered to fund the making of their album. Hands Off Gretel are at 128% of their goal right now so tonight is the last chance to pre order the album before they end the campaign at 12pm BST.
If you hurry you can still pre-order the album here but the clock is ticking
Hands Off Gretel have announced a full UK Tour in support of their forthcoming album, Burn The Beauty Queen, which can still be pre-ordered until September 2nd. The album has been recorded with a DIY ethic and pre orders can still be made, including limited edition formats of the album and exclusive merchandise. If you pre order the album it will be sent to you two weeks before the official release date.
You can pre-order Burn The Beauty Queen here
You can watch the preview video for the UK tour below and the tour dates can be found here Read More…
Hands Off Gretel have announced extensive UK tour dates in support of the forthcoming debut album, Burn The Beauty Queen. Pre orders can still be made, including limited edition formats of the album and exclusive merchandise. You can pre order Burn The Beauty Queen, prior to the 2nd September, here
Details of Hands Off Gretel‘s UK tour dates can be found here
You can view the video for My Size below Read More…
In February Hands Off Gretel went off into Wales to record their debut album, Burn The Beauty Queen, and it is now finished. The album has been recorded with a DIY ethic and pre orders can still be made, including limited edition formats of the album and exclusive merchandise. If you pre order the album it will be sent to you two weeks before the official release date.
You can pre order Burn The Beauty Queen, prior to the 2nd September, here
The video for the track One Eyed Girl can be viewed below Read More…
As of yet, there has not been a comprehensive film on the riot grrrl movement, over the past 25 years riot grrrl has cultivated a vibrant culture that has created music, film, zines, and a political stir, director Vega Darling‘s GRRRL: 25 Years of Riot Grrrl is a story about riot grrrl, told by riot grrrls. The Indiegogo campaign for the film features rewards including a multimedia zine, video, and music compilation with tracks from Frightwig, Hand Off Gretel, Husbands N Knives, The Potential Lunatics, Louise Distras and many more. So far, interviews recorded for the film include Bratmobile, Bikini Kill, Jack Off Jill, Louise Distras, Red Aunts and The Lunachicks amongst the comprehensive list of bands and contributors who have been interviewed for this project, with dozens more planned .
, GRRRl: 25 Years Of Riot Girl
, Hands Off Gretel
, Husbands N Knives
, Jack Off Jill
, Louise Distras
, Red Aunts
, Riot Grrrl
, The Lunachicks
, The Potential Lunatics
, Vega Darling