Although all being between the ages 10 to 16, The Linda Lindas are quickly making their appearance felt. They have already opened up gigs for the legends in Bikini Kill and had a song featured in Amy Poehler’s feminist movie Moxie.
Mila is the drummer of the band and she co-wrote Sexist, Racist Boy with Eloise, the bass player. During a recent concert in a public library Mila introduced the song with a short story: “A little while before we went into lockdown, a boy in my class came up to me and said that his dad told him to stay away from Chinese people. After I told him that I was Chinese, he backed away from me. Eloise and I wrote this song based on that experience.”
Before Eloise then dropped a real heavy bass line she added in a shout:
“So this is about him and all the other racist, sexist boys in this world!”
These young musicians certainly have a successful career ahead of them in music as well as in activism. At this young age, they are using their voices to point out the injustices in the world as well as what is being done to change things for the better. In a recent Facebook post, they noted how they all wore T-shirts from Tees 4 Togo, a company, started by their idol, Kathleen Hanna of before mentioned Bikini Kill, which directs 100% of its income to Peace Sisters, a non-profit organisation that helps girls in the West African country of Togo to go to school. Click the above links to buy a tee for 40$ – that is how much it costs to send a girl to school for one year in Togo.
This article was originally published on Medium and is republished here with the author’s permission. The cover image is by the author, Larissa Oliveira.
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If you believed that the 90s punk feminist movement, Riot Grrrl, which combined punk music, feminism and politics, was a thing of the past, you are utterly wrong. The early movement surely is emblematic as it has paved the path for young girls to take over the front of the stage and pick up instruments around the world. Bikini Kill, Bratmobile and Heavens to Betsy are some of the known bands of the early period and the first one, led by Kathleen Hanna, stands out among them as the main influence for many punk/HC girl bands from the 90s and on. However, most riot grrrl groups disbanded in the end of the nineties mostly due to reasons like the backlash from media, the profitable commodity within mainstream culture and interpersonal conflicts, the latter one pointed out by Bikini Kill’s drummer and zinester, Tobi Vail, in a 2017 interview to The Guardian.
Nevertheless, as observed in Sara Marcus’ book Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution, Riot Grrrl was much more than what took place inPacific Northwest/Olympia/Washington and it wasn’t limited to white girls; for instance, it started in Brazil in the middle of the 1990s and the recordings of the bands of the time are registered in the documentary: Faça Você Mesma (Do It Yourself— yourself in the feminine once Portuguese is a Latin language). Therefore, as the seeds of the movement were spread outside the pioneer regions, many folks have been embracing the initial aesthetics, picking up instruments, making zines, organizing festivals, Girl Rock Camps, and etc.,all of this based on their own backgrounds; so, yeah, there has been a continuity and the main reason why Riot Grrrl is still a thing is because the same issues that concerned the early movement such as sexism, abuse, abortion, sexuality and etc., still need to be addressed, especially in times like these in which the upsurge of far-right governments threatens to swamp minorities’ rights, not to mention the impact of the #MeToo and other women’s forms of protest that were foreshadowed by Riot Grrrls back then.
Furthermore, people have been reinventing Riot Grrrl by being vocal about other important issues that were once rare or invisible in the early days such as gender variance and racism. With the advent of internet, riot grrrls from around the world have connected to each other through Facebook groups, tumblr , online and physical zines, and the network is more intersectional and connected to other musical genres besides punk. Bearing this in mind, I decided to contact several riot grrrl bands — bands who claim themselves as riot grrrl bands, not based on my personal assumption — from different countries in order to organize a list and get a quote from them on how they believe to have been pushing the movement forward. For the bands that I couldn’t get a quote from, I put an excerpt of a song that brings riot grrrl connotations. By the way, make sure you check the links on the highlighted words because they will guide to the bands’ sources ;D.
I am very grateful to each band that talked to me, also to each person out there who helped me contacting the bands and to all those who have been reshaping this amazing movement! If you have/know a riot grrrl band — this means that you are sure the band identifies as riot grrrl and it’s not just a personal assumption — that is not included in this list, please leave a comment or contact me via instagram @iwannabeyrgrrrlzine / facebook: @riotgrrrlss or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Riot Grrrl is a community of strong, powerful women coming together to take back our rights and fight against injustice through punk rock music — Sharp Violet
Sharp Violet is a feminist punk band from Lindenhurst, NY, formed in 2016. Their first drummer came up with the band’s name inspired by Violet Sharp, a young British maid involved in the 1932 Lindbergh Kidnapping case, as reported on an interview to whatever68 radio. The band has released 5 singles: New York; Black Widow; These Are The Rules Boys; Domino Effect; She’s So Strange, on streaming platforms such as Spotify and Bandcamp. Domino Effect has an official music video and talks about the undeniable impact of the #TimesUp movement. It is such a cool video that even caught the attention of Kathleen Hanna on her cameo profile page. Their music reminds me of pop punk acts like Go Betty Go and Fabulous Disaster and I can’t wait to hear more stuff from them as they’ve been recording their debut album due to this year. Until then, we can enjoy the part I of their recent music video for She’s So Strange.
We are not a punk band like most riot grrl bands but we are certainly a band formed originally by feminist women with the idea of it becoming an all girl grunge band but it was hard to find a girl that played drums so we met a guy named Rafael who played drums and he joined the band. Now another boy is in the band, his name is Alfonso Lopez and we were all inspired by the same bands and we identify with the message and the purpose of riot grrrl bands. To create spaces in which women are creators, artists, leaders of their bands and participate actively without men harassing or bothering them. We are all supportive of the feminist movement, us girls as feminist and the guys of course they are conscious, they care, they are informed, but they don’t call themselves feminists out of respect to the movement. They understand they have another role in this fight.But I think we do fit in the category because we are a band from the north of mexico that started because me Carolina and a friend called Sofia were so into hole, babes in toyland, bikini kill, bratmobile, L7 and also Nirvana. For this reason we started the band to challenge the masculine rock industry/scene that criticizes women harder centered on their execution of their instruments rather than the art and the message of our music. We started this band with the hope to give other girls the motivation to start their bands in our city, we opened up space for ourselves, we recorded our first album Porcelain Mannequin inspired by all of these topics of violence towards women, abusive relationships, sorority, femicide, and other issues related to women such as beauty standards and eating disorders. So I guess we kind of belong there because I don’t think we identify with any other community. — Carolina Enríquez, bassist and vocalist of Margaritas Podridas
From Hermosillo, Mexico, Margaritas Podridas was once called Rotten Daisies when their music was mainly composed in English. Their 2018 debut EP, Porcelain Mannequin is a grunge gem with additional nuances of shoegaze and punk. I particularly a-d-o-r-e the track Hurt Heart. At first, the intention of the band was to be an all-girls grunge kinderwhore one but since it’s hard to find female musicians out there, they have been counting on two talented and pro-feminist guys. Having male members in feminist bands might be challenging but both Alfonso and Rafael “don’t call themselves feminists out of respect to the movement. They understand they have another role in this fight.” according to the vocalist Carolina. Margaritas Podridas have been working on their second album which will be fully recorded in Spanish addressing relevant issues such as Mexican domestic violence. Get a glimpse of what’s to come by enjoying the official video for their newest single Wow.
We have never ceased to relate to Riot [Grrrl]. As women in the independent scene, in the punk counterculture, who have been fighting for gender equality. All [Cosmogonia] lineups since the 90s have been identified as Riot [Grrrls] as the basis of Cosmogonia as well as all women who have played in the band and who play today! — Cosmogonia
One of the first Riot Grrrl bands in Brazil, Cosmogonia was formed in 1993 in São Paulo. It’s definitely one of my biggest Riot Grrrl influences besides other early riot grrrl acts such as Dominatrix , TPM and Bulimia. They released an EP called Demo Tape in 1998 approaching themes such as imposed female roles and media alienation. Unlike most 90s riot grrrl bands, Cosmogonia remained active until mid-2000s. After a twelve-year hiatus, the band came back inspired by the boom of female rock bands in the country. Last year, they released an EP named Reviva! which aims at fighting against the same layers of sexism from the early period. Watch the amazing live performance of the single ‘O Sentir Que Violenta’ here.
[Testera perfectly fits in Riot Grrrl movement] by making ourselves visible, being out there, empowering women to speak up, start a band grab a microphone, a drum stick, a guitar or whatever and take space in the music scene. — Testera
Post-punk band from Athens, Greece, Testera approaches different themes in their music such as the end of the world, street harassment, women empowerment, etc. They released a self-titled LP in 2018 recorded in their native language and it surely brings us back to the heydays of great European female fronted post-punk bands like LiLiPUT and Carambolage . I also recommend Chrysanthi’s bedroom pop band, PapithedogTV.
Contact the band — email@example.com
5. Calico Fray
I think we’ve been locally pushing the riot grrl movement on the scene by being on the lookout for the girls at our shows, promoting through our lyrics the talk about how body shaming can crush someone, how mental illness is real , sex work is real work, including women of all walks of life. We’re telling them that they have the right to be angry and that their anger should be allowed to be expressed. We also participate in the denunciation of sex offenders in the music scene and take part in as much protest for women’s right as we can. Basically if you are a machist asshole you won’t get to play with us. — Calico Fray
Calico Fray is a punk trio from Montreal, Canada. They are inspired by the 90s kinderwhore style, especially Courtney Love’s. Their debut EP, Sweet, Sad and Gross was recently released as a live record on Bandcamp and brings songs from personal experiences; and personal becomes political when you are a riot grrrl as sung in Pink Mess: Fuck church, fuck terfs. Fuck nazis fuck swerfs . Calico Fray also represents trans visibility in the movement and shows us that punk needs more than ever to be a safe place for this community. Check out this powerful performance of the track “Rewind And Play”.
Bands from the 90s riot grrrl movement like Babes in Toyland, Bikini Kill and Hole inspire us and have also shaped a lot of other great bands (even Nirvana) that inspire us, too. Listening to these songs gives us the courage to play our instruments together in a band and to feel the anger we carry within. The riot grrrls gave this anger a voice and expression and connected themselves to let this sound grow. This spirit is what we are also trying to maintain. — Riot Spears
From Berlin, German, angry pop band Riot Spears is definitely one of the most creative riot grrrl acts out there starting with the band name! They released some grunge demos on SoundCloud last year and their first EP months ago. I’m not an object, not yet a person is the perfect soundtrack for a psychedelic punk film (as a matter of fact I like playing the track Harvester 2x watching a clip from 2001: A Space Odyssey :p). Riot Spears will launch their debut album named BAD in soon by the label Ladies&Ladys. The trio has also participated in the amazing feminist jam session initiative called GRRRL-NOISY, which I highly recommend!
We were both lucky enough to seriously get into music at the height of the Riot Grrrl movement. When you’re a girl with a guitar, you look for the other girls with guitars. We found Sleater-Kinney, L7, Bikini Kill, and similar bands pretty early on. Awesome girls doing the “boys” work was so inspiring to see. So now, as women in our 30’s we still approach every project with a DIY attitude. We make every prop for our web series, and record all the music. We play all the instruments in the studio. We never limit ourselves to what we can do. And it’s because we had this culture of badasses to look up to. The end… — Girl Gang
LA-based band, Girl Gang is a duo that plays folk, punk songs and a couple of them are part of their first EP called Three. The duo has also launched a quick witted web series called “The Whole Show”, inspired by nineties nostalgic shows like Daria. I’ve already watched the first two episodes and had a good laugh about their adventures in forming a girl band; if MTV were still a thing, “The Whole Show” would be a perfect fit. If you’re fond of bands that are very communicative with fans and breathe DIY culture, Girl Gang is the band for you!
So i think the biggest thing we try to do is make sure female fronted bands are being heard just as much as all boy bands. We play on a lot of bills where I may be the only girl on stage, and when people comment, like “I didn’t know you could play like that” or assume I just sing or play bass in the background, it makes me think of all the bad ass female musicians that we know that are being underrepresented because in the music scene, it’s mostly men (or so people think). So when we book shows, we always end up picking incredibly monstrous musicians to join us, and we love to lean toward female fronted/included/influenced bands, because as a woman, myself, I also want to see girls on stage, blowing me away, too. And we don’t want to exclude anyone from having a good time at a show or ever make a girl in the crowd think she can’t be the one up there, one day. And I think it’s important to make people that say things like, “oh, I don’t like girl singers” or “girl bands” or “feminazis” actually watch girl musicians. That way, when they start seeing women on stage playing, they start going to shows with an open mind and expecting a great show and actively supporting you rather in walking in and immediately underestimating you. I think our music is honestly a great bridge for that kind of stuff, because we’re heavy and fast and (only because I’ve been told 1000 times) they just don’t expect shit from me, and like so many other female musicians, you just have to pave the way to their brain and get them to stop looking at you like you don’t know what you’re doing, or stop expecting you to sing “pretty” just because your boobs are bigger than theirs. — Harriers of Discord
Residents of Asheville, NC , Harriers of Discord started out as a solo act by the artist Aimee Jacob in 2014. Inspired by multiple musical genres such as surf and western music, Aimee released 3 records before teaming up with other members to form a quartet. Harriers is the kind of band that will leave you in awe due to the quality of their wide-ranging catalogue of musical experimentation. The trio recently released an excellent cover of SOS by ABBA.
In Mexico, feminism is kind of a bitter topic. As a woman living in our country, you’re never safe. You have to survive in here, you never know IF you’re even going to get home every single time you go out. People in here expect you to be quiet, to think “boys will be boys”, they underestimate feminism and think rape, femicide and sexual assault is just a daily thing in here, and that we should just try to live with it, adapt. People don’t know the riot grrrl movement in here, punk is not that popular in Mexico. The only mexican female punk band that has gained some acknowledgement is Las Ultrasónicas in the late 90s and early 2000s until now. We think feminism and the riot grrl movement have and WILL become a very important political topic for all of us in Mexico, not only women. We stand up to them, we complain in the rawest way possible about issues that affect us directly being girls, we make music that makes them uncomfortable, we will not be quiet. — Pjs at Punkphie’s
With which Sofía do you identify yourself? These are three punk witches who love collages, horror movies, and fight against fuckboys. Pjs have already released a compelling EP called Sugar, Spice & I’ll Kick Your Ass! singing in both English and Spanish languages. If you loved Kate Nash’s riot grrrl era , you’re also gonna love this Mexican band who has been working on new music and I am sure that it’s gonna sound as rad as their debut work.
Judith Judah is a friends trio who tries to express their rage, life experiences and feelings in their music. So in their EP Our bodies Our choices (2019), you’ll hear songs about sexist injunctions, mansplaining, sexual harassment, toxic relationships but also friendship, keeping on fighting even when it’s hard, adelphity, sweetness and true love. To sum up, through their dark riot queer music, they’re talking (loud, really loud^^) about destroying patriarchy & capitalism, and also about the importance to care about each others because in a world full of profit and selfishness, being kind is being punk ! That’s the way where Judith Judah tries to push forward the riot grrrls movement. — Judith Judah
From Bordeaux and Paris, France, Judith Judah is a dark riot queer band that explores feminist thematics combining slow and heavy tempos. You will also be surprised in a good way by how Julie’s and Clém’s vocals perfectly match in each song. Ready for provocative screams, guitar distortions and female planet? Just check out their first EP called Don’t Try to Teach us How released last year. This land is ours just like it’s yours & we’re not begging for it It’s a claim ! Power and fear Hate, scorn and tears. (track:territorial ceiling)… just like Nirvana’s In Utero, wait a bit after the end of the last track for a powerful surprise =)
In addition to the references of the bands that created and composed the movement since its beginning and to continue to send messages about women’s liberation, we think it is important that what we say is a reflection of our reality as Brazilian workers, it is a reflection of all the other violence that the system causes to female and male workers. — Ratas Rabiosas
Ratas Rabiosas is a punk/HC band formed in 2013 in São Paulo, Brazil. Ratas have already released an eponymous EP and a full album named Sonidos de Combate. They also participated in a feminist compilation produced in 2014 by the female fronted band Útero Kaos. The band’s works convey the effects of racial prejudice, Brazilian’s legislation on domestic violence known as Maria da Penha Law, exploration of Latin American labour and etc. The quartet has been working on a new album called Guerra Urbana and has released excerpts of new songs on their Facebook page. Listen to their homage to the late black activist and Rio de Janeiro councilwoman, Marielle Franco, who was brutally killed in 2018. We still don’t know who killed Marielle and she has become a symbol of resistance in the country. It’s crucial that other women keep her legacy alive!
Starting a band as women and as feminists is important to offer some balance in this boy band dominated music scene and to inspire girls to pick up an instrument and start their own bands just like the early riot grrrl bands inspired us. Our songs are messages about what it feels to be a girl in our patriarchal society and that together, we can fight and change that shitty way of thinking that smells like naphthalene. We also write zines, as a band and some of us on our own, which can also fit into this DIY feminist tradition of zine-making that riot grrrl encourages. — Lavender Witch
Do you remember The Lavender Menace group from the second wave of feminism who fought for the inclusion of lesbian issues within the movement? Well, let’s say that their revolutionary spirit still inspires women today and that women have been fighting for other relevant causes such as trans-revolution and anti-racism. If you combine this fight with grunge, spells and zines you get the Brussel-based band, Lavender Witch. They’ve recently launched their debut album Awakening that comes along with a 24-page A5 zine with lyrics/spells, photos, and etc. I watched their live performance of the album on Girls go Boom months ago and I assure you they sound just as great as on studio. Also, Nina is an excellent zinester and she does the artwork for the band; I am a big fan of her works! The band’s been working on the official video for the track Not My Sister and I’m looking forward to check it out. Aren’t you too? 🙂
I believe that at the heart of the riot grrrl movement is promoting (intersectional) feminism, inclusivity, and a DIY ethic, and I think my music embodies all three of these, while experimenting with unique aesthetics. I’ve always seen riot grrrl as a way of life, more than as a “genre” of music. As both a musician and co-owner of a small secret DIY live space, I want to create discussions and opportunities through music. (In the daytime, I am a university professor and work to promote equality in the themes I address with my students.) —Holly Lanasolyluna
Solo act from Tokyo,Japan, Holly Lanasolyluna wrote her first song in 2010 on a toy keyboard she found in a junk shop in Kyoto for a cheap price. She also uses 80s and 90s synthesizers to produce her own music, yeah, she’s totally diy devoted and has tried her best to create a safe space for marginalized artists using one of the rooms in her house for women, non-binary, half-Japanese people and those who seek freedom of speech (which is a real hard thing in Japan) to live stream their performances. Holly’s songs problematize the idol culture of her country as well as the sexualization of young girls. She has a lot more to tell so hear her lo-fi record called Sake Amnesia.
Once again, girls to the front. Using their souls to empower us, now it’s time to rise again. Burn the stage, we´ll pay the price — Lyrics of Burn the stage by Heroine Whores
Grunge punk band from Leipzig, Germany, The Heroine Whores has been active since 2009. The band has already released three albums and two EPs and has toured in both Europe and in the US. In the beginning of this year, they launched a new single called Burn The Stage by Pauli Punker Records, and I’m very excited to hear their upcoming album! If you love Hole, Dickless and Mudhoney, THW must surely be on your playlist. Also, vocalist Tracy owns a super interesting project called Fight Like A Grrrl- Booking that aims to advertise riot grrrl bands with at least half of the instruments being played by female musicians. It’s always inspiring when feminist bands foster this kind of initiative, isn’t it? ♥
Gender-troubled since the age of three, lived reality that you might not see , but i know something that’d be good for me, transcending anatomy — Lyrics of Body-Negativity Demo by Passionless Pointless
If someone introduced me to Passionless Pointless without having never heard them before, I’d have definitely said that they were a mid-80s sludge band that later inspired PJ Harvey. Well, PP are actually a current band from Berlin, Germany, and as I was paying attention to the lyrics present in their tape The Rockhaus Live Demos I noticed that all of them spoke to me somehow; just like the narrators in the songs, I’ve also had to leave some toxic people and their ridiculosities behind. Vocalist and guitarist Evelyn is the main songwriter of the band and she also owns the incredible record label and oldschool fanzines called vinyldyke. Dirty hair and a laugh that’s mean sings L7’s Donita Sparks in ‘Fast and Frightening’ and that’s the spirit of Passionless Pointless.
Putan Club doesn’t know if they have been pushing the [Riot Grrrl] movement. What they are sure about that the cause is huge. For example, we would have love to join the YPJ (Women’s Protection Units) or being Mujeres Libres in 1936. Militants, fighters, activists, artists: we still all are at the very first beginning of everything.The road has barely started and the assholes are all around the way. — Putan Club
The french and italian band Putan Club have been active for years and have toured in continents such as Africa and Asia. They also have a broad experimentation in music approaching different genres and themes; Filles de Mai proves this as it brings straightforward feminist messages echoing the women of the 1968 revolution and also of other times. The album also talks about the sociopolitical and economic cancers that permeate us. The fusion of of techno-punk, electronic-industrial and hip hopmeetswondrous manifestos stimulating a unique experience for both mind and body. As if they couldn’t be impressive enough, there’s this amazing collaboration with the no wave icon Lydia Lunch.
As a band in a latin american country where the patriarchy and machismo culture reign in everyday life, being women, punk musicians and making fun of this reality is the definition of pushing forward the riot grrrl movement — Doña Pacha
From San José, Costa Rica, Doña Pacha define themselves as “Macho satire in pursuit of feminism”. The band was formed a couple of years ago and it has gained a great social media engagement with fans who follow their irreverent performances and purchase their cool merch. Doña have already released a single, an EP and a split. If you love bands like Fea and Bratmobile, Doña Pacha are just as rad. Mirá… ¿Cómo vas? is my favorite track and the band will be launching their EP in physical format after this pandemic, yey!!
Absolutely! “Guitar Gabby and The TxLips Band has been pushing the riot grrrl movement by creating our own path. TxLips Band, LLC. is a collective of bad ass Black Women all around the world with the sole purpose to represent for Black Women in the music industry and remind the world that Pussy is Power, no matter how you identify. — Guitar Gabby
He can’t stand that you’re smarter, he can’t stand that you love your body, you can’t burn the witch anymore but if you could I swear she’d reborn — lyrics of Bruja by Brutal Mary
From the federal capital of Brazil, Brasília, Brutal Mary started out as a female punk trio. By listening to their self-titled EP, we can perceive that the band draws inspiration from local riot grrrl pioneers such as Kaos Klitoriano and Bulimia. Songs were composed both in Portuguese and English and convey messages of abuse, female abandonment and toxic relationships. As a victim of an abusive relationship, I could relate a lot to track Bruja. A lot has been sung about abuse by women in rock but it still is necessary to approach this issue because there hasn’t been effective changes in how society treats it. Besides, Arthemy’s singing style reminds of Daniela’s from the Sergipean (Brazilian state where I am from) punk/HC band Renegades of Punk.
Riot grrrl is a lifestyle, is a state of mind, is a movement. I always have been fighting for female rights, lgbt+ community and black lives. When I found the riot grrrl movement a new world opened to me, I love their power, their lyrics and their attitude. Those grrrls make me feel powerful. Nobody knows me and nobody cares about my music, but when I found riot grrrl I realised that I want to scream and play my guitar and I don’t care about people’s opinions. So I started writing music and doing cover. With my music I want to share my feelings with other people and give them power. The riot grrrl movement is still important because there are a lot of grrrls like me that want to scream and end discrimination. With our power we can fight against discrimination, the male chauvinist society and rape. My music is mainly inspired by grunge, riot grrrl punk, punk and alternative rock. My makeup is inspired by Courtney Love, Kat Bjelland and other grrrls —Deborah Benenati
From Caltagirone, Italy, Debbie is a solo artist who records her own songs as well as covers by her favorite bands such as Pink Floyd and 4 Non Blondes. Her euphonious voice is a perfect match for songs by Belly and Throwing Muses, for instance. By the way, the singer has two Instagram profiles which she dedicates to female punk icons and to Kurt Cobain. Debbie has plans to pick her electric guitar to record other songs of her own. Let’s all hope she launches an EP or an album and thrives on her career =).
When a woman makes art and makes music, and she pursues her career, even with all the boycott, she is a riot grrrl. Look, it is evident that spaces in Art and Music are massively filled by men. And many expect you, at most, to be a groupie … and in the case of art, they expect you, at most, to be a living model. wait! I don’t see any deep problems with being a live model or groupie.You go to museums and, despite the huge range of female artists who existed and left their art (and all who are alive doing art), the spaces are still for men. And yes … there is a veiled boycott. I, from experience, tell you how difficult it is for a woman to form a band — I have been composing since I was 14 years old. With 16 years old I started trying to form and maintain a band. Today I am 35 years old, and until today I have not managed to form a band. Now why do the guys prefer to play cover bands? because they just don’t “believe” in the authorial work; over time I rethought the question “concept” band and followed a path “project” with collab, where no one is a permanent member. For instance, like Björk and PJ Harvey ended up adopting.— Al Petroni
Al Petroni is from São Paulo, Brazil, and both of us study pedagogy in the same University :O. Another coincidence is that we love the same rock femmes such as Siouxsie and The Banshees, Sinéad O’Connor, Tori Amos and Cocteau Twins. With her grunge project, Cat Head, the also collagist and painter unleashed her creative melodies by releasing two singles. There’s also an intimate, black and white homemade music video for pieces of a particular hell; her music has already been played in several radio stations abroad and it’s gonna leave you smashing the replay button ;D.
I feel so bored today, I’m a wreck, restless(?)anyway. No sex, no drugs, no color TV, nothing’s changed, no variety. My body’s burning, I feel no heat. Funeral silence is all I need. I feel so weak, trembling hands, no one can get me out of bed. Oh you are so… (2x). Touch me! (3x) please. Depression, sucker, you’re a part of me — Lyrics of Doctor Touch [transcribed by me, Idk if it’s 100% accurate]
24/7 DIVA HEAVEN is a Berlin-based band and it possibly is the coolest your mother will ever hear, haha (joke taken from their social media). Yet, I think you’re gonna find them the coolest because of their 70’s rock-goddesses style and hybrid music genres that combine elements of sludge metal, stoner rock, grunge and others found in their 2018 EP, SUPERSLIDE. The track Half Moon got me hooked and I love how each instrument is perfectly elaborated in the album. Watch them playing the mentioned track live and see how badass they are. 24/7 have been working on their first full-length album and they will absolutely get your attention just like they got Jennifer Finch’s :).
Riot grrrl must focus on being more inclusive to women of colour and trans women, for a healthy movement ALL riot grrrls must feel represented. The movement needs to support riot grrrls in all fields, while we love music it’s great to see those who take their ethics from the movement and apply them to their endeavours. And fellow riot grrrl bands — let’s support each other to break into the mainstream! Allow yourselves to be experimental and free thinking as you want. Cherry & The Fever Dreams are an all female band, which sadly is rare in today’s music industry and something we are set on changing — Cherry & The Fever Dreams
Oh the nostalgic nineties filled with magical guitar riffs and cool English female fronted bands like Echobelly, Lush (1987-) and Sleeper! If you miss bands with their vibes make sure you hear Cherry & The Fever Dreams. They are an all-girl band from Kent, UK, and have recently released their first single and video, 1817, inspired by bedroompop diy style. 1817 has already played on BBC radio and this sure was a significant step for the band. I just hope they record more stuff together and get to wherever they want to; they deserve that !! ;).
I’ve always identified myself with Riot Grrrl ever since I got to know the grunge movement. My music isn’t inherently riot grrrl because I sing in only one song and my music is not political, although I’ve been working on a riot grrrl material for the future. Also, I believe it’s super important to share women’s music and while there are many sexist male bands out there, women are being riot grrrls just for singing and playing instruments— Nycolle Fernandes
From São Paulo, Brazil, Nycolle Fernandes recorded her first EP, When the Sun Comes using an old cellphone. The experimental songs evoke elements of atmospheric and shoegaze music that will just lull you into ease also provoking reflections on life and its mysteries, as stated by the artist. Nycolle has also participated in two Brazilian compilation albums exploring more of her artistic range. Moreover, she contributes to an amazing grunge page on Facebook by sharing the works of women artists. Check out her soundcloud profile for more of her experimentation in music ^^.
The riot girl in Brazil has a different face and a different meaning than the US scene in the 90s. We are each day creating a new meaning of what Riot is in our lives and artistic expressions of the band. Claiming a new concept of RiotGrrrl sudaka+ black+fat+trans and dyke queer. The white and colonial riot is not up to us and in that sense we built ourselves from our “no place” — Bertha Lutz
From Belo Horizonte, Brazil, hardcore band Bertha Lutz was named after the leading figure of the Pan American feminist movement of same name and have been playing for more than ten years. In 2018, they released an EP called Minha Resistência é Minha Revolução capturing strong rallying cries for feminists who also listen to Brazilian funk and seek representation; also for other marginalized voices that barely find place in hardcore. They name black women like Luana Barbosa and Claudia da Silva who were killed cowardly by the police. After six years, police officers accused of dragging Claudia’s body for 350 meters have not yet been tried or punished!!! Bertha Lutz incorporate a feminism that springs from anti-police and anti-racist praxis. Brazilian rock scene should be proud to be represented by this defiant and far-reaching band.
There’s nothing you can do to me that hasn’t already been done to us,there’s nothing you can say to me that hasn’t already been said to us. The weight of History is on my shoulders; we’ve been terrorized, we’ve been canonized, we’ve been burned at the stake, we’ve been crucified. We’ve seen it all — Lyrics of I Feel It All [transcribed by me, Idk if it’s 100% accurate]
Arre! Arre! is a girl gang from Malmö, Sweden that is gonna be there for you when the sun is down and you feel blue, and be the best company ever.The band has released 5 works between LPs and EPs and I have my personal favorite which is Tell Me All About Them. It is the ultimate anthem for riot grrrls that uplifts our moral and tells sexist men to seriously fuck off. In August this year, they launched a new EP called Heavy Breathing championing female sexuality unapologetically. “The sexuality that’s full of cellulites, laughter, self love and free will!” as quoted by them on bandcamp. So, ready or not, here they come and you can’t hide!!
Secondhand Underpants started when three of us moved to Istanbul for college. Up until that point we had been playing metal together in high school and were subject to so much sexist bullshit in the metal scene, which really hurt our self-esteem in the long run. But riot grrrl is incredibly empowering and it truly spoke to us as young women. So we started playing only for ourselves at first. Playing only for ourselves was a process of growing stronger together. We did record and self-release two EPs before I moved back to Istanbul in 2016, we had no idea if anybody heard them, because we weren’t really part of the scene at that point. Once we started playing shows we witnessed that there were a lot of women who felt validated by what we were doing and took it to heart. We were really taken aback by that. That feeling of empowerment really grew stronger as we shared it with others. So long story short, I think the way in which the band pushed forward the riot grrrl movement was through being inspired by something that happened so far away many years ago and taking it home, making it local, making it ours. We are the first (and only) Turkish band to call ourselves a riot grrrl band and that’s significant because women in punk music also wish to simply be “one of the boys.” But reclaiming the name is basically to say that we don’t need to be one of the boys, we can just be ourselves, we don’t need their scene, all we need is each other. I think riot grrrl is a bridge between the local and the global because it really resonates with us; we go through similar issues, we run up against similar walls, we are made to feel small, weak, and irrelevant. But this music is a way to fight back and open up a space for us to exist and celebrate ourselves and just create what we want to see in the world. So while it all started in the Pacific Northwest in the early 90s, it didn’t stay confined there because sexism is everywhere and so is resistance. We also have been organizing Ladyfest Istanbul since 2018 and it’s been such a great feeling having so many women on stage for that event. — Secondhand Underpants
Alt-rock trio from Istanbul, Turkey, Secondhand Underpants have been vocal about abuse, sexuality, and other themes for more than 10 years, challenging their country’s authoritarian government that has sought to intervene in the freedom of speech. They are just as delightfully sadistic as Jack of Jill and own a good-natured feminist spirit with touches of wit like Lunachicks. SU have already released 3 albums and the latest, Slayer (2017), was reviewed by the DIY initiative that promotes women in music by producing live events, Loud Women, which has already hosted the band in one of their festival edition. I simply love the music video for Autopleasures which features a bunch of fab collages inspired by old school feminist aesthetics, so that the video feels like a live motion zine ♥. I hope you all indulge in their punk soup, but please do so before dinner time (haha).
Vocalist Fulden also plays and sings in another riot grrrl band called EMASKÜLATÖR.
Ooh, quiet as the night? I’m quiet as a riot! And more when you’re around, Oh, you asked me to be quiet! I’m quiet as a riot! And destined to be loud— Lyrics of Quiet by Hex Poseur
Solo female punk/garage rock artist from UK, Hex Poseur is gonna put a riot spell on you inspiring you to be as bold as you wish to be ’cause that’s what happened to her when she discovered bands like X-ray Spex. HP has already released 2 EPs and performs with bassist Holly Osborne and drummer Billy Mattock. My favorite song is Quiet which belongs to the EP Keep it Quiet (Vol.1). I also love Meds and I want you to obsess over these tracks as well! If you love acts like PJ Harvey and Elastica, Hex Poseur is also gonna become one of your female rockers obsession. Speaking of which, she has a playlist up on Spotify to celebrate female punk/rock/metal artists; so I believe that it’d be a great idea to add her music to your playlists too :).
Born in 89 and 91, we were just teensy tiny little humans when the riot grrrl movement started. We’re lucky to have grown up in a world where our heroes have already paved a way for badass women to make their mark in the male dominated punk scene, music scene, and just life in general. The work is far from over though. Times are SCARY for anyone other than white cisgender men. It feels like in our lifetimes we’ve watched the world function like a seesaw in terms of progressiveness. This orange bumbling idiot that is our sorry excuse for a president of the United States makes everything feel so unsafe. We have to fear for our rights as queer people. Especially our trans brothers and sisters. We have to fear for people of color. For people with disabilities. For immigrants. For the poor. This is a time where we need the riot grrrl movement to live on more than ever. We want to put ourselves and others in these white boy centric spaces and shake it up and make noise. We need big voices to carry the message that we will not take any of this lying down. The whole world is a boys club and quite frankly, fuck that. — Proud Miranda
From Tampa, FL, Proud Miranda mixes classic rock, blues and grunge building their own identity “Drinking as a crutch, low self-esteem, sexual orientation shame, body image or eating disorders, etc.” as they have said to CL website. They have already launched 3 EPs and their first one, Eve was framed, stands out as their best as it brings nineties alt-rock aesthetics to the core, reminding us of bands like Veruca Salt and Sleater-Kinney. So if you are looking for female duos with the same intensity as Louise and Nina, Corin and Carrie, please go for them. Moreover, Maddy has recently joined PM on bass and I’m excited to hear their future works!
I hope that we would be a part of it . By being ourselves and speaking up about issues that happen to females as musicians , as minorities and some of us queer. Being visible is a statement in itself . — Fea
Chicana punk rock out of San Antonio,TX, Fea have established themselves as one of the most innovative and remarkable feminist bands of our generation. In case you don’t know, Phanie and Jenn were once in the awesome punk trio Girl in a Coma. Fea have signed to Joan Jett’s Blackheart Records and have put out two albums; the first one, self-titled, was co-produced by Alice Bag, Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace, and Babes in Toyland’s Lori Barbero. In my opinion, it represents to this generation what Pussy Whipped did in the early 90s. ‘Mujer Moderna’ is the new Rebel Girl and by mixing Spanish and English with self-assured lyrics and fuzzy rock, Fea have released another record called No Novelties (2019). They have also won the hearts of punk icons such as Bikini Kill and Iggy Pop and I’m sure there’s room for them in yours as well. ♥
We take the Riot Grrrl movement forward as a band formed by girls in an amid a predominant male figure who takes over the stage in the underground scene, showing that we make music as good as a male band and encourage other girls to go on stage, not to feel intimidated and realize that we are equal to men and we can do what we want, when we want. — Time Bomb Girls
Time Bomb Girls is a rockabilly/garage/punk band from São Paulo, Brazil. They have recently released their debut album called Las Tres Destemidas which brings songs both in Portuguese and English. Their single ‘Quando Eu Crescer’, which is also present in two compilations, pays homage to the punk band The Cramps as the singers’ dream is not to become an entrepreneur but a bikini girl with a machine gun. There’s also the influence of surf music, especially in the track ‘Nanana Surf’, and of the Brazilian band Autoramas. If you like bands like the ones mentioned above plus Dash and Budget Girls, Time Bomb Girls is also gonna become of your faves!
I don’t need your eyes to judge mine. My heart doesn’t cry out for your passion. My skin doesn’t need your touch so vulgar. My soul does not crave your sermon. Your hostile word of censorship no longer reflects inside me I’m not what you want, don’t come judge me for what you’re not — Lyrics of Fardo by Nâmbula Mangueta
From São Paulo, Brazil, Nâmbula Mangueta has been active for 2 years and already put out an EP called ‘Eu Sou Nâmbula Mangueta’ last year. The main theme here is abusive relationships and it’s extremely important to hear women singing about it once we have been living in the era of #SilenceBreakers and yet, it is still hard to speak out and be credited. It’s a bold move for the band and the messages in the songs can really help women out of abusive situations. Besides, the instrumental approach of the band varies with stoner, indie and mpb influences. Nâmbula is a solid band and just listen to the final track ‘Macacos 12’ to know what I’m talking about. Do you wanna hear a second opinion? I recommend Bus Ride Notes’ review on the album. 🙂
u wanna use me, u wanna bruise me, u wanna tie me up fill me with yr love. U wanna take it ,u wanna suck it, u wanna snare me in and then leave me broken. — Lyrics of Men by Violent Vickie.
From Long Beach, California, Vickie Valent(Violent Vickie) has been inspired by riot grrrl, darkwave, post-punk, synth pop,electro and industrial music to compose her career. If you like Atari Teenage Riot, Peaches and Julie Ruin, Vickie is also a super electrostar and her two records plus singles will prove that. ‘Monster Alley’ from 2013 features the music video for the track Beauty Store, which reminds me of Diane Ladd’s character in Wild at Heart (1990). While ‘Division’ (2020) brings the goth video for Serotonin which reminded of a goth version of Bjork’s Isobel. Speaking of Division, the track Get Violent stands out as my favorite! I also love ‘Fake The Fury’ and the fair homage to Lovelace. I’m sure Vickie’s wide range of experimentation and themes will leave you with a lot to think and to dance of course ;).
We [Clandestinas] welcome, also as ours, the spirit of riot grrrl … we are heirs and continuers .— Clandestinas
From São Paulo, Brazil, the punk trio Clandestinas released their self-titled debut album this year with a focus on known feminist mantras inserted in manifestos that foster LGBT+ rights. They make sure that all the letters are represented in their lyrics and the representation is also seen in the lineup. Besides, the debut album brings national music elements of forró, funk, as well as 80’s Brazilian post-punk and rap. It is also important to highlight the production of the album which was 100% female and nonbinary. Clandestinas is the present and the future of punk and if you don’t believe in inclusiveness in punk, you should reevaluate your definition of the ideology.
We’re all inspired by riot grrrl, and we use a lot of riot grrrl, feminist DIY values in our music — and the lyrics of our songs are the least of it!! From making our own handmade zines to the way we run our live shows, we live our feminism. Feminist movements are constantly changing and evolving with the socio-political context, so we’re also building on riot grrrl when we explicitly include women and nonbinary people at the front of our shows (or, more simply, men to the back)! — Janey
From London, England, Dream Nails have been active since 2015 and have built a solid fanbase with their quick-witted videos that range from women doing things themselves like on the 80s ‘diy’ music video to the band sharing practical things they have learnt during the quarantine. The solid fanbase is also due to their political statements that include trans women and non-binary people as punctuated in one of the skits from their newest self-titled album. When I heard that skit for the first time it felt like it gave Bikini Kill’s intro for Double Dare Ya ‘we want revolution Girl-style now!’ a significant second step to the main riot grrrl motto. The album continues with the righteous track ‘Vagina Police 2.0’ whose intro reminded of another riot grrrl gem, Brat Girl by Bratmobile. Despite the influences, Dream Nails have built their own identity presenting current basis issues like in ‘Kiss My Fist’ which is a fierce response to the homophobic attack on a lesbian couple in London last year. Dream Nails have taken a riot grrrl motto to another level and invites you to join forces to smash the cis-tem.
What led me to punk rock was the socio-political and feminist engagement that it practices. Politics is in everything, including rock, and punk rock is the only style with this humanist leaning.We need to talk about feminism, inequalities and the exploitation of man over man. These issues must be on the agenda every moment of our lives and permeate our actions. — Polaca
Porto Alegre (Brazil) based band, 3D punk rock started in the end of the 80s (before the riot grrrl movement) but it only lasted for less than 2 years. 30 years after, vocalist Polasca put 3D back on the tracks again with a new lineup reuniting the early songs recorded in a self-titled vinyl, which was remasterized in London and launched by the Brazilian label Nada Nada Discos. The early recordings foresaw much of what was vocalized by the riot grrrl movement; there are songs about gender roles and government oppression and the singer’s galvanizing screams remind me of Poly Styrene’s. 3D punk rock is still relevant because the issues approached in the past have been sung by the later generations of punk women and there’s a lot more to be said. Let’s hope they record a new album and continue to inspire women from any generation to proclaim a space in punk music.
I think that despite our heavier sound, there’s this whole thing of contributing to the empowerment of girls in general. — RÄIVÄ
From Alagoas, Brazil, RÄIVÄ is a feminist crust band that represents the female presence in the Northeastern underground. Historically, this region has been inferiorized, mainly due to impoverishment and there are people from super valued regions like South who tend to hold prejudices about northeast citizens. I’m from the smallest state in the northeast (Sergipe) and Alagoas is very close to it. Both states bring high rates on feminicide and violence in general. To see female rock bands like Oldscratch and RÄIVÄ fighting for representativeness matters a lot to other women from the region. The band launched their debut album in 2016 singing about various forms of oppression, including the one from pseudo macho feminists who “pretend to care,pretend to support us. Spread intrigue, trie to keep us away.”. If you look for crust riot grrrl, RÄIVÄ is the band for you!
I hold your hand in mine! so that together we can do what I can’t, that I don’t want, that I won’t do alone! — Lyrics of Mosh Grrrl by Klitores Kaos.
From the North of Brazil, Bélem do Pará, Klitores Kaos represents to this region what RÄIVÄ does to the Northeastern one. Klitores are also a feminist crust band and just like the Northeast region, the Northern one has also been belittled by political forces. It is truly relevant that bands like Klitores Kaos and Aurora Punk Rocks, female punk band from the same state, are active in the punk scene singing about machistas and feminicide because one in four women are victims of this crime in Pará. In their debut EP, Klitores open it with the track ‘Feminicida’ that claims for justice in the name of the Mexican Ingrid Escamilla who was murdered and skinned and had her body exposed on social media. To record this EP, the band put a campaign on the platform Vakinha and it was a blast! Let’s hope that their explosive presence inspires other women to riot and make a change in their local scenes!
I don’t want to hear you say my name no more, I just need time to refresh my mind, I do, I do, I do — Lyrics of Antiorgasm by Trash No Star [transcribed by me, Idk if it’s 100% accurate].
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) based band, Trash No Star is the lost daughter of Bikini Kill and Babes in Toyland and you can totally see that in the track ‘Take The Pills’ present in their first album, Single Ladies. The band is on their tenth anniversary and with only two albums released, it has become an important name in the underground scene playing in many festivals alongside other female-fronted bands like Weedra, Pata and Pin Ups (with Alexandra). TNS’ songs are short but abrasive enough to leave a good impression on grunge lovers. My favorite track is Misses Digger but when it comes to quality, the band has it in spades.
Our body, battlefield. At work, at school. In the countryside, in the city. Moving on, in the slowest step. United women! Battle won! No aggressor shall pass! — Lyrics of Nosso Corpo by Bioma.
Bioma is a feminist queercore/queerpunx band, formed in 2017 in São Paulo (BR). So far, you can see that São Paulo stands out as the Brazilian city that concentrates the greatest number of all-women rock bands. There, Bioma’s vocalist, Natália, was one of the creators of three queercore festivals Dyke Fest, Desviantes and Resistência Transviada. The band released their debut album, União e Rebeldia, months ago produced by themselves and by the multitalented artist Mari Crestani (Bloody Mary Una Chica Band/ As Mercenárias). The album focuses on themes related to gender and sexual violence perpetrated by fascist regimes, particularly in our country that has been ruled by a far-right president who praises dictators — who tortured, raped and killed minority and communist folks — from the Brazilian military dictatorship (1964–1985). It’s essential that the country is represented by queer artists who shout the names of lesbians murdered brutally and whose words of resistance remain incredible important; like they sing in the track 2019: “Any Jair can come, the resistance will stay. The body will get stronger,we will continue”.
The fact that we often play for free for support parties: support for squats, against the gentrification of a neighborhood here in Toulouse, in support of families of anarchist prisoners etc…We took part in organizing a weekend of concerts with an exclusively queer and rrriot stage last winter (With some bands you know by the way, Judith Judah). When we can participate to the prog, we always try to privilege the female or/and queer scene — Radical Kitten
Radical Kitten are a queer and feminist riot post-punk band from South of France. Their first album ‘Silence is Violence’ will come out on October 16th and I assure y’all that it is the best of post-punk that you will have listened to in years! It has a bit of Slant 6, Sonic Youth and Huggy Bear; a lot of awesome riffs and straightforward messages to people who seriously need to fuck off! The duo Iso and Marin swear a lot (the word shit to be more specific) but hey, this is punk rock with attitude and rage and their music is anthemic. Have a glimpse of what’s to come by listening to the track ‘Wrong’ released on their bandcamp.
For us, Molestya, being a riot grrrl band means screaming out loud what we want to say regardless what all male punk bands say. In Rome there isn’t a real riot grrrl scene and there aren’t other riot grrl bands in this moment, although every punk band calls itself as feminist. Why? Perhaps hardcore bands and their supporters’ opinions are just all talk. So we started a riot band to make our voice and our point of view heard and we wish other women would do the same — Molestya
Punk band from Rome, Italy, Molestya, has released four songs in their bandcamp page and each one of them deals with a different theme. The power trio pays homages to two prominent figures in literature. In ‘A Sylvia’, they sing about the writings of the north-American poet Sylvia Plath. While Lisbeth Salander is about the survivor and fighter heroine from the Millenium saga. Their sound reminded me of Lunachicks and of Italian all-women punk band Porno Nuns . It’s raw power from traditional punk rock and it’s gonna leave you asking for more.
The idea of Riot Grrrl Sessions is for riot grrrls from different bands to join forces and create music together. We expand our network, getting to know new persons (that are also musicians and songwriters). DIT — do it together instead of DIY. — Riot Grrrl sessions
For one weekend, dozens of trans, non-binary and cis women worked on a music project in Stockholm, Sweden. Riot Grrrl Sessions was Twin Pigs vocalist’s, Canan Rosén, idea. Seeing that the music scene, especially the rock scene is still dominated by male musicians, Canan decided to join forces with other female artists to sing about women’s issues as well as other relevant issues that we need to be engaged to, such as LGBTQ+ community, suicide, menstruation, sexist politicians, sorority and etc. They were able to record 13 amazing songs in the spirit of DIT- doing it together, as pointed by them in their website. The lyrics are simple to understand, their main goal, I believe, is to keep punk alive in a time which political forces around the world have attempted to silence all those who manifest themselves against their policies. Riot Grrrls sessions are on their second round, but they had to halt the project for some time due to the pandemic. While the next record doesn’t come out, watch the incredible documentary on the first session here.
Once the band has no authorial song yet, I retrieved a quote from their interview to the website ‘Conversa Culta’: “[…] playing Bikini Kill’s Rebel Girl always kicks some ass because the girls get loose and come up on stage to sing along with us.”
From Rio de Janeiro (BR), Kinderwhores is formed by childhood friends inspired by the 90s kinderwhore style and all-women bands like The Donnas and The Runaways. They play covers from bands like Bikini Kill’s Rebel Girl and Hole’s Violet. The band has been working on their own material and recently posted a glimpse of a studio recording which made the fans really excited! Besides, guitarist Thaís participated in an issue of the zine ‘Preta&Riot’ by Bertha Lutz’s vocalist, talking about the presence of black women in the riot grrrl movement. See their electrifying performance of Rebel Girl here. ♥
The riot grrrl movement of the 90s brought up issues such as the free sexuality of women, the union between them and encouraged them to pick up instruments and express themselves. It was a flame that needed to be lit at that moment, the Seattle scene already had strong signs in the change of youth’s vision of the time, but it was still a movement with male majority. The Olympia girls wanted a voice and that moment of union between bands, ideals, freedom; and noise was what brought Special Drink and several other bands here. The encouragement to show their indignation against the macho and conservative society, the heavy and explicit lyrics and girls who allowed themselves to be who they were … That was what we saw and wanted to do so much, it was at that point that we identified ourselves and saw that we could also scream, play and show our ideas. And even today this flame is lit, this was the beginning of a lot of struggle and empowerment within underground rock. We, Special Drink, thank the bands that influenced us to get here. Some favorites are: Babes In Toyland, 7 year Bitch and Bikini Kill. — Special Drink
Stoner and grunge band from Osasco, São Paulo, Special Drink, started out a L7 cover band and you can see they are hugely inspired by the band in their debut album, Booze, launched this year. They also draw inspiration from other classic bands like Red Fang and Black Sabbath. Their lyrics deal with relevant themes such as self-sabotage, female empowerment and silence and other ones that deal with inner conflicts. I’m sure this is the type of band that Alice in Chains would take on a tour and that would offer the finest rock’n’roll menu.
Versinthë99 follows in the wake of the Riot Grrrl movement initiated by American feminist punk in the early 90s, drawing inspiration from their messages, attitude and determination. We take the word that we are not given. We are fighting to make our voices heard and gain some visibility through independent music production, but also literary and activist production through Castor’s fanzines and webzine. We want to make feminism accessible through our music, to encourage women and all LGBTQIAP + people to associate with each other, to encourage them to create, to take action in turn. Our songs rise up against many forms of patriarchal oppression, they talk about rape, domestic violence (cover of L’hymne du MLF), witch hunts (Les filles du feu), precariousness (Précaire), call for rebellion (Riot Grrrl, Rebelles arc-en-ciel…), and especially for riot through art: poetry, graffiti, body-painting, performance, music (Vertige). — Versinthë99
From Paris, France, Versinthë99 have been engaging themselves and their fans to political activism through queer and literary punk. The band sounds like early Siouxsie and The Banshees and have already paid homage to the proto-punk group The Velvet Underground performing the tracks Venus in Furs instrumentally with the use of accordion, and Rock’n’roll. Their debut album, Vertige, is really cool and I wanna thank Amélie once again for sending a copy of it to me; The demos of the album can be found on their soundcloud profile and you will be able to feel the intensity evoked in their odes to warrior women. :]
And what takes away all the tears in the eyes is the ability to search in me, a breath of calm and strength. There is a self of calm and strength, persistent among entrails of agony and fear — Lyrics of Crimeia by Tuíra.
Rio de Janeiro-based group, Tuíra is an indie quartet that draws inspiration from Brazilian warriors like Tuíra Kayapó, an indigenous leader who became a reference in the fight for the Amazon cause after she brandished her machete in front of a government official to prevent the disastrous impacts that the Xingu dams would have on indigenous peoples. In their debut album, Calma e Força , the band also composed a song to Criméia de Almeida, ex-guerrilla woman who was tortured during the Brazilian dictatorship and was the first to report the despicable coronel Ustra — Bolsonaro’s idol — for what she suffered at the time. The band’s sonority reminds me of early Sleater-Kinney and their lyrics are powerful enough to dismantle the status-quo in rock’n’ roll music.
I ain’t got any ploys, I’m equal to the boys. Guess you could say that we’ve got 4 tits … — lyrics of Tits by The Anti-Queens
Kickass band from Toronto, Canada, The Anti-Queens have been active for about 10 years and although the lineup has changed over time, the band remains unapologetic and rocking hard. TAQ have already put out two EPs and one self-titled album. You will love them if you already dig The Muffs, The Distillers and Soundgarden. ‘Mean Genes’ and ‘Miss Scarlett’ from their latest record stand out as my favorite tracks, but it’s really hard to pick favorites since it’s noticeable how hard they work to put out flawless music. There’s a sort of energy coming from them that is rare for bands nowadays and it is contagious. I hope you like them enough to lift up your spirit. We all need that during these hard times.
Chârogne is a feminist Punk-Rock band that is trashy-ironic-in-your-face. Ironic texts that report the inequalities between the sexes, a unique style, creaky, feminist and assumed. — Chârogne’s Facebook bio
From Montreal, Canada, Chârogne is the love child of Nina Hagen and Diamanda Galás. Their songs are manifestos on the objectification of women seen as pure meat as stated in their album Mange-Moi . They are aggressive and mad as hell with something to say creating the perfect atmosphere for punk chaos. Féministe Frustrée synthesizes their feminist fury in vivid colours and lots of action. The band also takes action as trans allies and supports causes for abuse victims. Chârogne is the type of band that is intimidating at the same time it pulls you close with their incredible magnetism.
Our role as riot grrrls occurs through a political positioning since the beginning of the band in favor of people oppressed by society (whether due to class, race or gender) and the inclusion of these ideals in our lyrics and speeches on stage. — Demonia
From Natal Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil, Demonia is definetely one of the funniest and coolest groups out there today! I simply love the lyric video for their debut single Reptilianos Malditos. The band has noteworthy songs like ‘Capitalismo é um lixo’ and ‘Biroliro’, which belong to their EP ‘Achei que era homem mas é só satanás’, something like ‘I thought it was a man but it is only satan’. The song that names the EP talks about a woman’s fear when she walks down the street and sees a man when she’d rather see satan. Despite the joke behind the lyrics, the band’s engagement matters a lot since their state registered the highest percentage increase in rapes in Brazil in 2018! Let’s hope Demonia continues to grow and to challenge in their unique and clever way, the real demons that haunt our country.
From one of the smallest nations in Europe, the punk rock band GÉNN arose, rocked, traveled and finally ended up in the United Kingdom. Malta, their home country, is a tiny island in the central Mediterranean sea that is both full of culture at the same time as being very old school and driven by ancient patriarchy.
Even though the music scene in Malta was personal and tight knit, the girls in GÉNN felt they needed to explore further options. In the UK the band found a new home and exciting possibilities.
I spoke with the guitar player of the band, Janelle, about their music and their role as women in the music scene.
Halldór: First of all, for those not familiar with your work, who are GENN?
Janelle: We’re a four-piece Anglo-Maltese post-punk band based in Brighton and we’re ready to kick ass and rock your ears!
H: Malta is a unique and ancient place. Sometimes places like that still have remnants of the old ways in society. With most of GENN being from the tiny island, how can you describe its music scene and how has it been being a female musician in that environment? And is it different in the UK, now that you have relocated to there?
J: Malta and the Maltese language are definitely part of us….as a band, we’re very much connected to the Mediterranean region and way of life..three of us are from Malta (Leanne, Leona and I) and Sofia is also half-Portughese. The band started in Malta. There aren’t a lot of female musicians over there and the alternative music community is small but tightly knit. When we got robbed in 2018, the music community came together to fundraise new equipment for us which was honestly such a heartwarming gesture.
We decided to relocate to the UK mainly because of the fact that the UK has been and will always be a hub for alternative music. It’s definitely different over here as it’s more of an established industry and it’s super cut-throat. However, we thrive when faced with challenges…we also found Sofia (our drummer) here! So you can say that it was meant to be.
H: On your brilliant debut album, Titty Monster, there seems to be a theme of female empowerment and feminism. What inspires you to write down lyrics? How important is it for you to use lyrics to send a specific message out into the universe?
J: Honestly, we didn’t set out to write a ‘feminist’ album. We were simply writing a diary of what we experience…and since we’re women, this is what we go through on a daily basis. I think it’s great that there are more female voices and point of views in music and art nowadays. Leona (the singer) writes the lyrics. She’s an existentialist…so the lyrics reflect what she would be thinking at that moment and her experiences as she navigates through life. The lyrics usually reflect a ‘story’ that happens to one of us or a particular experience we’re going through either collectively and personally. I think Leona does a good job in reflecting this in our lyrics.
H: Do you feel a responsibility to use your music as a tool of empowerment for young girls (or anyone else) or do you separate the music and the activism?
J: As a band, we do kind of separate music and activism. We’re musicians and artists first. However, since we navigate spaces as womxn, speaking about issues that affect us and other womxn is unavoidable and it’s also important in the current global climate. We do hope our music inspires young girls (and big girls too!) to pick up an instrument and explore all of their talents! The world would definitely be a better place if more womxn believed in themselves and supported each other.
H: What do you hope to achieve with your music?
J: We would really love to be able to tour the world with our music and connect with other souls 🙂 We’d love to create timeless pieces that inspire others as much as we are inspired by others’ music. That would be the dream .
H: What musicians have inspired you? Are you following other contemporary artists you’d like to throw a shout out to?
J: Personally, I’m inspired by a wide range of musicians including Jeff Buckley, Warpaint, Hinds, Joni Mitchell, Amy Winehouse, Chopin, Pink Floyd, The Clash, CAN, The Doors…to name but a few. I’ve recently discovered Jefferson Airplane and I’m a huge fan. I’d like to throw a shout to fellow Brighton-based outfits Austerity, Stone Cold Fiction and Arxx…label mates Ghum…and Maltese artists Djun, Beangrowers, Oxygyn, Sam Christie, Berne, Joon, I Am Willow and Beesqueeze, amongst many many others!
H: What is on the horizon for the band?
J: Considering the current situation, we went from a tonne of gigs to zero. But that’s okay. We’re writing and working on our craft instead 🙂 Hoping this pandemic situation blows over soon so that we can also go back to gigging.
H: Thank you very much for participating and for your music. Anything else you’d like to shout from the rooftops?