A horrible hack


Subnormal Girls - DIY/Post Punk 1979-83 Vol. 1

Year Released: 2016
Format: LP
Label: Waiting Room
Reviewed by Alex Deller on Mar 30, 2017
Good comp of post-punk circa 1979-1983, wherein all of the bands are fronted by women. Cuts are drawn from all over the world, making obvious stops in the UK and the US but also venturing to Japan, Australia and various destinations around Europe. Despite the geographical diversity and time in which all this conjured the sound is strangely consistent, with a focus on yelpy, glasslike vocals, erratically danceable rhythms and splintery guitar sounds that're occasionally augmented by minimal synth lines and/or vaguely atonal brass outbursts. Standouts for me include Viele Bunte Autos (Austria), Kontrola W. (Poland), Petticoats (UK) and Toxic Shock (Australia), but in all honesty you can't go far wrong with any of the sharp, staccato stabs herein, particularly if you have a fondness for Kleenex, Au Pairs of the more approachable end of that whole No New York thing. One minor niggle, though: while the curation is top-notch and the whole thing looks the part if would've been nice to have some liner notes or band info to contextualise things and tie it all together beyond just a neat collection of songs. Seems almost churlish to mention it, but hey - just saying.

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