Some of you may recall that during the Summer, at the height of the fatuous absurdity that was the Royal Wedding (spit), Gordon lamented at the lack of positive role models for young women within music, or indeed culture itself, these days (see 'here'). He then went on to pose the question;
'Where have all the strong feminist Pop/Rock icons gone?"
After running through the best of feminist-inspired music from the past, his article finished with this plea;
"We really hope that readers will get in touch and tell us of some Radical Feminist bands that we are unaware of. Hell, we even hope some of the said bands will get in touch so we can write about them and enjoy their music".
Well, he's been eagerly awaiting the deluge ever since. But, sorry to say, it hasn't come. So that's why I'm so pleased to announce that I'm about to blow his socks off with, not just one but two, excellent all-girl, punk-pop trios with outstanding feminist credentials.
First up is Gaffa (pictured) from Tábor in the Czech Republic. Yes, that's right, they're real-life Bohemians. Anyway, the band line-up is;
Petra Podlahova - voice, keyboard,
Marie Adamkova - guitar, voice,
Silvie Zelenkova - drums, voice
and they play a brand of guitar-driven, pop-punk much reminiscent of uber-influential, Swiss, post-punk legends Kleenex/LiLiPUT. Have a listen to the brash and bouncy 'george'n'tracy'.
That song is track number 8 on their newly-released album Na Značky (this appears to translate as 'The Brand'), which is available as a free download on their bandcamp page. Unfortunately, there seems to be a slight problem with the download from there at the moment unless you download each of the tracks individually, so the Streetlamp is also providing an alternative free download 'here'. We strongly suggest you do so, as this band, as well as abounding with fine poppy hooks, also furnish their songs with smart, sassy lyrics, many containing a strong feminist message. Have a listen to track 9 'Dilettante's Delight' with its subtly acerbic list of modern roles for women:
Fine stuff indeed. In 2009 Gaffa also released a 7" single which they split with tonight's other band, First fatal Kiss. For this venture, Gaffa provided the songs Otevřeno and Prstík. These can be downloaded from bandcamp or, alternatively, the whole EP is available as a free download 'here' courtesy of The Streetlamp.
First Fatal Kiss (pictured) from Vienna, Austria, are also a three-piece and describe themselves as 'queer! kitsch! punk!'. The current line-up is;
Birgit Michlmayr (drums, violin, keyboard, vocals)
Maria Reisinger (bass, drums, vocals)
Renée Winter (keyboard, bass, drums, vocals)
They also have been known to throw in a bit of kazoo and recorder into the mix when the spirit takes them. Their sound is not as guitar driven as Gaffa's and the tunes are mainly built on the framework provided by a 1980's keyboard, giving them a less rocky and more retro post-punk vibe, which is rather pleasing to these ears.
They provided the catchy sloganeering tracks;'No Boys! No Girls!' and 'No Government!' to the 7" split with Gaffa. Have a listen:
7" split with Gaffa (2009) by first fatal kiss
Since then, First fatal Kiss have released an album 'Danke Gut'(2010), which you can purchase on the Zach Records site.
They also released this amusing video 'How To Play A Very Good Punk Song', which should be required viewing for all 16 year olds in our opinion. Ray and I were also pleased to see in the video that they turn up for rehearsals on their bikes. Just as it should be!
I hope you enjoyed both these fine feminist bands, and remember if you know of any others who you think we should be covering get in touch.