On this day in 1999 “Le Tigre” released their self-titled debut album. Following the disbandment of “Bikini Kill,” lead singer Kathleen Hanna formed Le Tigre with fellow musicians Johanna Fateman and Sadie Benning. Le Tigre were originally intended to be the live supporting band for Hanna’s solo project “Julie Ruin,” but the band took on a life of it’s own and they began writing their own original material. On their self-titled debut the band used organs, samplers, turntables, drum machines, and guitars to create music that was “Electronic” based but featured the feminist political lyrics Bikini Kill were known for, and Kathleen Hanna’s raucous vocals were as strong as ever. This album revolutionized both “Punk” and “Electronic” music, two genres that couldn’t be more opposite from each other. This album is proof that political music can also be catchy and melodic. Happy Anniversary.
On this day in 1979 “Gang of Four” released their iconic debut album Entertainment! This album went on to be one of the most essential releases in “Post-Punk” history, influencing a myriad of artists such as “Red Hot Chili Peppers,” Michael Stipe, and “Nirvana.” On this album the band delivered the anti-establishment ethos of “Punk Rock” with lead singer Jon King’s topical lyrical content of consumerism, feminism, sex, and alienation, and what separated the band from their peers was their heavy incorporation of genres such as “Funk” and “Dub” thanks to bassist Dave Allen and drummer Hugo Burnham. Add Andy Gill’s angular guitars to the mix that added a chaotic but controlled flavor, and you’ve got a sound that’s uniquely their own. You can still hear their Funk-driven influence on “Post-Punk” and “Indie Rock” bands today. Considering how the genre of “Post-Punk” can be obscure to some, it’s impressive how the band’s sound has managed to remain relevant after 40 years. Happy 40th anniversary.
On the heels of their fantastic new E.P. Suffering is a Gift, Punk band “Portrayal of Guilt” have released more music with the band “Soft Kill” on a new 7” via “Closed Casket Activities.” Portrayal of Guilt’s track “Sacrificial Rite” is a tumultuous howl of doom that blends elements of both Punk and Metal, whereas Soft Kill’s track “Tin Foil Drip” is a lush and melodic shoegazey tune. You can stream as well as purchase the new 7” below:
Australian “Punk Rock” band “Amyl and the Sniffers” are most definitely a band to watch. Their fierce, fun-loving, and noisy style will resonate with anyone who loves the aggressive spirit of “Punk Rock.” Today the band released a brand new single titled “Monsoon Rock,” which will appear on their upcoming debut album set to be released on May 24th. No other details about the album have been unveiled at this time. You can watch the music video for “Monsoon Rock” below:
Legendary “Riot Grrrl” band “Bikini Kill” will reunite for a few shows in New York and L.A. this year, and it will be their first time performing since the band broke up in 1997. Original members Kathleen Hanna, Kathi Wilcox, and Tobi Vail will be joined by Erica Dawn Lyle, who will be replacing guitarist Billy Karren. The dates and venues for the three shows have been announced, but there’s no word on whether or not the band will play even more shows after the upcoming tour dates. You can check out the tour dates below:
Bikini Kill Tour Dates:
04-25 Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Palladium
05-31 Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel
06-01 New York, NY – Terminal 5
Australian “Punk” outfit “Amyl and the Sniffers” are part of a new wave of Australian bands who aren’t afraid to have fun with their music that evokes the spirit of 70’s “Punk.” Today the band have shared a new single titled “Some Mutts (Can’t Be Muzzled)” whether or not this will appear on an upcoming full-length album hasn’t been revealed yet, but the band are garnering much attention and a new album might be imminent. You can listen to “Some Mutts (Can’t Be Muzzled)” below:
Album: Joy as an Act of Resistance
Genre: Post-Punk/Punk Rock/Hardcore Punk
I don’t think anyone expected Bristol Post-Punk band “IDLES” to follow-up last year’s breakthrough album Brutalism so soon, but here we are with a new “IDLES” album titled Joy as an Act of Resistance. Their previous album Brutalism was a groundbreaking release for Punk Rock, and in a genre that has become stagnant and quite predictable, the band brought fresh new life and ideas with a new kind of rebellion against things that even the most hardcore punks wouldn’t rebel against, dragging the genre kicking and screaming to it’s much needed next level. On Joy as an Act of Resistance, the band have pushed the envelope even further. It’s got the same punch as their previous album, with hard hitting instrumentation and lead singer Joe Talbot’s razor sharp vocals and straightforward lyrics that disrupt societal norms, but this time around the band showcases their eclecticism by incorporating some elements of Noise Rock and dark melodies that at times echo Gothic Rock, and even Swans-esque cinematic buildups like on the colossal opening track appropriately titled “Colossus.” Talbot’s lyrics are even more impactful on this album, tackling topics such as classism, toxic masculinity, homophobia, and immigration, and he exposes problematic negatives all while keeping a positive and hopeful attitude, and considering how most aggressive music delves in the negative in a cynical manner, being progressively aggressive in a genuine manner isn’t easy, but “IDLES” make it look easy. This is an album that also isn’t afraid to be vulnerable, like on the personal and haunting track “June” where Talbot expresses his right to be a father despite the tragedy that has befallen him. “Samaritans” is a powerful takedown of toxic masculinity with Talbot shouting “Man up. Sit down. Chin up. Pipe down. Socks up. Don’t cry. Drink up. Just lie. Grow some balls he said.” These are all things men often hear from day one due to the irrational idea that men aren’t allowed to be emotional or sensitive, and on the same track Talbot shouts “I kissed a boy and I liked it!” referencing Katy Perry’s iconic “I kissed a girl and I liked It” lyrics. This is a topic not a whole lot of men are comfortable talking about, but Talbot speaks on it fearlessly and in a way that is extremely thought provoking. This is one of the many topics included on this album, and they’re all passionately expressed equally like the track “Danny Nedelko” which is named after the Ukrainian frontman of the British Punk band “Heavy Lungs,” and this track speaks on how we’re all equal beings regardless of our race or origins. “Scum” finds Talbot owning all the names and labels people throw at him and defending his left leaning beliefs. “This snowflake’s an avalanche” Talbot claims, and you better believe it. This whole album is beyond perfection. It is a groundbreaking release that not only Post-Punk, Punk Rock, or Rock in general needs, but what the whole music world needs. The boys have made an instant classic with important subject matter that everyone needs to hear, and they do it without being too political or preachy. It’s a mirror they hold up to us, and it’s time for us to start thinking and loving.
Written By: Steven Sandoval