Another two volumes of this very-necessary, fast-becoming-essential series provide further proof that the international pop underground is as fruitful as ever. Punk may have felt like a boys’ club over the years, but the voices presented here are femme as fuck, with a sonic diversity that makes brain-withering nonsense of the idea that ‘female-fronted’ was ever an acceptable genre term.
Volume three launches out of the traps with delightfully angular hardcore courtesy of Leeds’ mighty Natterers, before taking in straight-up ragers courtesy of the totally-blazing Macho Boys and Daudyflin. There’s more at stake than a deafening roar, however; Fatty Cakes And The Puff Pastries’ super-sparse 'Grrl Gang' finds a sardonic chorus of misogyny-baiting zingers comfortably riding atop a simple chassis of loping bass, drums and glockenspiel, while Unskilled Lab’s robotic pulse ups the ear-worm factor impressively.
Over on the series’ fourth outing, things get a tad more textured: French Vanilla’s sax-laden fury recalls both Gang of Four and The Slits in thrilling fashion, without ever really sounding too much like either. Meanwhile, London-via-San-Francisco trio Schande dive alternately towards both sides of the line between sumptuous pop and noisy scree, Couteau Latex’s electro-savagery shows a deft hand, and Cruel Summer offer nods towards shoegaze, albeit with a serrated edge that becomes increasingly moreish with every spin. And we’re honestly just scratching the surface here.
Compiled by Camylle Reynolds (of California must-hears Midnite Snaxxx and Bad Daddies), what’s especially great about these two collections is that their outlook is specifically internationalist – there are bands from Japan, Germany, Spain, Iceland and beyond, singing in a variety of languages and illustrating (more than most comps can be bothered) that punk is a global movement that takes a multitude of shapes and forms.
In a world where female voices are still woefully unde-rrepresented – tediously male-centric festival line-ups being a perennial case in point – the ‘Typical Girls’ series is more than just a collection of bands; it offers an incredible starting point for disenfranchised listeners looking for inspiration or encouragement. On the other hand, it’s manna from heaven for anyone who wants to bury themselves in some (yeah, we’re going there) kick-ass rock’n’roll. Rest assured, thy bottom will most assuredly be kicked.
Buy ‘em and play til your ears give out - the next instalment can’t come soon enough.
Words: Will Fitzpatrick
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