All the Politics, None of the Folk
Think “women’s music” means either thin-voiced Lilith waifs and their acoustic guitars, or their unacknowledged forbears, those earnest acts your lesbian aunt adored? Think again. A collection of acts from the independent label, The New Women’s Music Sampler, this genre-busting disc draws heavily from the punk and thrash girl-garage tradition instead, giving us a more boisterous view of “women’s music” than we’re used to. And that’s a welcome thing.
The first song, “Heavenly Creatures” by the Northampton band the Moves, sets the tone with a thrashy and catchy song about relationship-angst. Followed by The Butchies, whose “Sex (i’m a lesbian)” has a touch of old-school metal crunch reminiscent of L7, and The Need’s short-but sweet “Girl Flavor Gum,” this disc rocks out.
There’s some of that acoustic earnestness here as well, in the form of 18-year old Tami Hart. But Hart’s voice is so lovely you won’t mind her more gently assertive than angstful style. In this kinder, gentler mode there’s also the soulful and skilled Doria Roberts with the sunny “Perfect,” Retsin’s pensive, intense duet “Pink River,” and the sweet love song “Fall Down” by Sara Dougher.
Most of the songs are a tad on the short side. There are some familiar names here-dyke-rock perennials Tribe 8 check in here with a song on gay suicide; The Haggard feature members from PDX and Cadallaca, and the Butchies are two-thirds ex-Team Dresch-as well as some with no releases to their name yet. This disc leaves a sweet taste in your mouth and a hankering for more, just like a sampler should. Final verdict: a must for any Sleater-Kinney fan with a soft spot looking to expand their outlook.
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