Posts Tagged ‘Kamikaze Girls’

Kamikaze Girls – Berlin and Deal

April 5, 2017

Kamikaze Girls have signed to Big Scary Monsters and announced their debut LP – Seafoam – is out on 9th June.

Check out the taster here –

Kamikaze Girls Facebook Page

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Kamikaze Girls – Sad ep

September 3, 2016

Kamikaze Girls released their debut ep yesterday.

Bearded Punk Records

And here’s the first video from it linked directly –

And the second –

Available on tape and 12″ and download I think.  I have the beautiful clear / splatter vinyl 12″ (with download code).  5 songs on the A-side, then the older, cast-iron classic, Tonic Youth on the B.  Get your money out at at its okay to be sad.

To grossly paraphrase Lucinda “we’re not afraid to write poppy choruses, but around that we have lots of fuzz.”  That pretty much nails it.

I can’t exactly put my finger on their sound.  They’re an indie band, definitely a bit punk, but also almost shoegaze in the way they mix waves of distorted guitars with beauty.  The vocals can change from ‘pleasant singing’ to ‘screaming howl’ at the drop of a hat.

They’re Kamikazi Girls, and to love them you have to love pop and you have to love noise.

They remind me of ‘Choker’ by Honeyblood – female vocaled noise pop that should sell hundreds of thousands if there was any sense in the world.  If I had any faith in the music industry or record buying public I’d be wondering whether they’ll breaking through to the mainstream without any real compromise (a la Nirvana) or whether they reduce the fuzz and increase the pop and do it Boo Radleys-style.

I really do love this band.  Forget the noise pop, I love their desire to push ideas to make the world a better place, with mental health being the major theme of this ep.  Hexes – psychosis; Stitches – anxiety; Ladyfuzz – overdose; Black Coffee – addiction; the band as a whole – girl power, feminism.  I hate funerals is the other track.

 

Riot Grrrl, Kamikaze Girls and Politics

July 18, 2016

I recently read Girls to the Front: The true story of the riot grrrl revolution by Sara Marcus.  I read it for a number of reasons – I’ll read pretty much anything about or by bands that I have even a passing interest in; I love punk / DIY and political music; I love reading about scenes; it was a scene that I was aware of at the time, but not particularly, and I wanted to know what I missed.  And I am increasingly interested in women in music, but I’ll come back to that later this post and others – but boredom with a lot of new (male, inevitably) music I hear and Everett True is the short answer.

I really enjoyed the book and there are so many things in it that I ought to come back to over the coming months on this blog.  Some might even be in this post.  Who knows, I don’t really know where this post is going.  But the one thing that I took out of it – the book, not this post – was just how much it was a (female, mainly) youth movement, not a music scene, though back in the day I saw it as a music scene and little more, but then why would I, I was a teenage boy reading the music press, not a woman participating in one of the numerous local groups across (mainly) the States?  Riot Grrrl was local, young feminism.  Feminism is politics – it shouldn’t be, equality should be a given, but as of right now it is.  And Riot Grrrl was addressing political issues that were not strictly feminist, though arguably all issues are feminist issues.

As I said previously on this blog, I went to a record and ‘zine fair at the wonderful Boileroom in Guildford a few months back and approached a twenty-something girl sitting behind a desk and a laptop.  We only chatted briefly, but she said she was in a band and – I didn’t mention this before – described that band as a “Riot Grrrl” band.  They are called Kamikaze Girls and they rock, as I later found out using a search engine thing which is a thing for searching things on a thing called the world wide web, something I expect many of you will have heard of.  Or something.  Their song Tonic Youth in particular is great.  I have a 3 year old son and he likes it as much as he likes early Pet Shop Boys and that is saying something.  Still need to catch them live, one day I hope.

Why do Kamikaze Girls describe themselves as Riot Grrrl?  When she said the words I was surprised, maybe even shocked.  Even though I was reading Girls to the Front at the time I still thought “why would you identify with a predominantly American scene that pretty much died not long after you were born?”  “Why would you tie yourself down like that?”  “Why would you categorise yourself in such an obviously uncommercial way?”  I don’t know the answer, but I do know that if you’re basically a young female indie / punk / DIY musician then I can see why you’d want to be part of a ‘girl gang’ and identify with feminism.

The other thing that surprised me when I briefly met Lucinda – for that is her name – is this.  She answered “no” when I asked if her band was a political one.  Why?

The band identify as Riot Grrrl, which is basically feminism, which is basically politics.  On social media they hoped that Britain would vote to remain in the EU, an overtly political issue.  Most importantly, in my eyes, a claim to not be interested in politics is a claim to have no interest whether children are educated properly; whether the NHS is there to save your life when you get a serious but treatable disease; whether the country is run by the rich and powerful for their own benefit, or ordinary working people and the disadvantaged and disenfranchised for the benefit of the many.  Not doing politics, or claiming not to, is batshit crazy in my eyes.

But they do clearly do politics, they are a political band because elements of their message are political (a band’s message is its interviews and social media posts as much as it is their songs).  I’d even argue that by making noisy guitar music in 2016 you are making a political decision not to take an easier route to fame and fortune, you’re taking a decision to be an ousider, and stand alongside other outsiders, as opposed deciding to be a pop act with semi-naked dancers who are standing for nothing other than the right of corporations to make as much money as possible with no concern for the collateral damage that follows from a money-obsessed, shallow society that makes the objectification of women maintream culture.

I suppose that my conclusion has to be simply this.  Young people – and many older people, especially in northern / Welsh former mining and industrial communities – just do not feel that politics and politicians do anything for them.  They are so disenfranchised that they feel that politics is not for them, even if certain political issues are.  The main three parties in the UK, and the media that reports politics in such a tribal, dishonest and anti-intellectual way, should hold their heads in shame that political people choose not to identify as such.

Before I go –

Riot Grrrl Manifesto from 1991

Ladyfuzz

Girl Gang

Kamikaze Girls

Kamikaze Girls – Kamikaze Girls (Cassette)

June 3, 2016

This blog does what it wants, which is why it is gonna review a 3-track cassette that really should have been reviewed when it came out a year or two ago, or even when quick off the blocks Wild Eye first heard it (a few months ago).

First thing to say is that everything that I’ve ever heard by Kamikaze Girls is great.  Tonic Youth (previously reviewed and linked) is ACE (I’ve just read Freaky Dancing by Bez, can you tell?)  Online you should be able to track down their cover of Heroes by Bowie (great) and a track called Black Coffee (given the role this substance plays in my life every 4th song I hear should really be about black coffee, also great).

Anyway, the Kamikaze Girls cassette.

Wayfarer is a funny old song to my ears… on the one hand it is just a just very average number with an epic chorus that ain’t my thing but kinda works… on the other its got something.  Perhaps it is simply what it is… the sound of a damn find band finding its feet, sound and song-writing ability.

Love & Other Subjects features some beautiful distortion straight off… immediately more interesting and challenging than Wayfarer… then it backs it up with a proper hook.  Wayfarer hints that Kamikaze Girls can write a special song, Love & Other Subjects pretty much proves it (the aforementioned Tonic Youth proves it beyond a shadow of a doubt).  “We fall in and out of love so easily, we fall in and out of love so desperately”.  Great line.  Courtney Barnett comes to mind as someone else who has a wonderful way with words, and when you’re getting compared to Courtney Barnett you’re doing something right.  Very right.

Records & Coffee.  Almost as good a title as Love & Other Subjects.  Much slower.  It’s kinda a Sarah number (note 1) in some ways that elects to do fuck all from start to finish.  Luckily for the song I like a Sarah-type act, even one that elects to do fuck all from start to finish.  I can’t justify liking this song, but I do.  It just works.  And the lyrics are intriguing… they talk of a fairly ordinary life, but in a way that leaves you wanting to know more of the story.

Note 1 – this could be an insult coming from most people but it really isn’t coming from me.  I feel a bit of a Sarah post or two is due.

Tonic Youth

February 1, 2016

Yesterday I went to the Boileroom – they had a little record and ‘zine fair on.  Glad I did, picked up a couple of records and chatted to a few people.  I’ll try to remember to post a reminder when the next one comes along.

The last stall I got to was tucked away in the corner near the entrance.  In typical Wildeye fashion – kinda cocky, far too opinionated, probably patronising, don’t give a fuck, which is good in some ways, not so good in others – I asked the girl behind the table what it was all about.  She said something about a her fanzine (Ladyfuzz – great name), how its not too political (I think that’s what she said), how she’s in a band called Kamikaze Girls, and how Petrol Girls are one of the best bands in the UK at the minute.  I responded (probably) by talking shit and (definitely) opening up a cut on my finger and bleeding all over my shopping list and her pen.  I did buy her fanzine though (issues one and two, available here – http://ladyfuzz.uk/).

So I get home, get googling, get listening.  There’s plenty more to say, but for now I’ll keep it simple.

“Tonic Youth” is an absolutely superb song by Kamikaze Girls.

I love punk and a variety of noisy alternative music.  But I fucking love pop too.

There are two bands I’m reminded of.  One is Nirvana.  They rocked and they were a pop band.  The other is the Boo Radley’s – specifically Icabod and I yet again (Swords of Thought reminded me of them a couple of weeks back).  Icabod and I was the sound of the brilliant pop band they would become making a fucking racket.  Superb.

Kamikaze Girls don’t sound like either, but they are noisy, they rock, and they’re a pop band, albeit with a much more modern sound than the two old bands I mention.

I really hope that they have a load more songs of this quality.  If the rest are half as good they’re still a damn fine band.  I would have listened to more but I stuck “Tonic Youth” on repeat.

And another thing.  Is there anything worse than pop-rock?  Rock that has been watered down for a pop market?  How about rock-pop – music that rocks in a totally non-watered down way, but is still pop?  Is there anything better?  Or is that just punk-pop?   Or is it pop-punk?  I forget.

Oh Yeah.  Black Heart in Camden, February 13th with Petrol Girls – go see them.