Feel the punk rock fury and get a ‘Divorce’


Photo by Stella Wan

Pussy Riot fans, check this out - Divorce have just released a three track teaser for their upcoming, self-titled debut album, and damn, it’s good!

If you don’t know Divorce, then let me direct you to the links at the bottom of this post for some introductions. In a nutshell, this majority-female band make a ferocious racket that takes all the best bits of experimental music, noise-rock, thrash and doom and blends it into a unique, powerful sound that is guaranteed to blast the cobwebs out of your ears.

Divorce will be released on vinyl and download through Night School label on September 17th, and the limited edition records run will be printed half on purple vinyl, and half on green vinyl. The label says:

“Divorce” is the culmination of four years of uncompromising noise-rock brutality. Long-time friends of ours, it is an honour to be releasing the debut full-length statement from a band who have set new standards in underground extremity. Since their formation in 2008 they have progressed from no wave dirge practitioners to an unique cult that blurs the boundaries of what ‘punk’, ‘noise-rock’ or ‘metal’ are presumed to sound like. Remaining slippery in definition but relentlessly focused, Divorce have evolved into a singular, incomparable unit.

Recorded by Ali Walker at Glasgow’s Arc Studio & Devil’s Own Studio, “Divorce” finds the band pushing their furious sound further than ever before; a torrent of pummeling rhythms and serrated, overdriven riffs, extended freak outs and ecstatic push and pull dynamics. They have also explored their experimental tendencies more, incorporating power-electronics, white noise and, on the track “Stabby (Stabby) Stab”, free-jazz saxophone (courtesy of guest musician James Swinburne). All this, combined with an over-arching determination to take their music to new limits structurally and sonically, makes “Divorce” a unified audio experience. Divorce are Jennie Fulk (vocals), Vickie McDonald (guitars), VSO (bass) and Andy Brown (drums).

Divorce are one of the best live acts in the UK just now, and if there is any justice in the world, they will make their way Stateside to slay you guys pretty soon. These debut album recordings have done the trick of capturing a great band’s live energy, which is no mean feat. You can pre-order Divorce from here, and in the meantime, here’s some tracks to whet your appetite:
 

  Selections from: DIVORCE - ‘Divorce’ LSSN013 by NightSchool 
 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:

A Girl’s Best Friend Is Her Guitar: ‘Horseheads’ by Divorce

Screw the Royal Wedding - listen to Divorce instead

 

 

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
A girl’s best friend is her guitar: The Elvi phenomenon


 
“Girls have got balls. They’re just a little higher up that’s all.” Joan Jett

 

 

Written by Marc Campbell | Discussion
A girl’s best friend is her guitar: ‘Horseheads’ by Divorce


Divorce poster design by Croatoan Design
 
Divorce is a femme-thrash four piece from Glasgow, Scotland, quickly picking up a reputation for being one of the best live acts in the UK. I have posted about Divorce on Dangerous Minds before—a fitting tribute, I felt, to the newly-wed future King of England and his blushing bride—and now the band are back with a new 7” release on Milk Records called “Horseheads,” with a strange accompanying video.

Fans of both spiky, angular post-punk and the heavier end of hardcore will find a lot to like here. Drummer Andy Brown describes their influences as “loud, ugly and offensive. Anything that luxuriates in the joys of noise.” He adds that “genres and middle-class whiteboy whining can get fucked.” I second that emotion.

The video for “Horseheads” features a humanoid-chicken pecking at a pentagram-emblazoned snare drum (a nod perhaps to the infamous ‘Chicken Lady’ character from Kids In The Hall?) but as Brown states:

“The fact that there’s no-one dressed as a horse in the video has not gone unnoticed. The song’s not about horses anyway, it was named after the town that our vocalist Jennie comes from in America - only she really knows what it’s all about!”

There is, indeed, a village in upstate New York called Horseheads that describes itself as the “gateway to the Finger Lakes”. Visitors will be glad to know that, as of the 30th of January 2012, the drinking water from well number five is safe and does NOT require a “boil water advisory”. I don’t know what they’re putitng in the water in Horseheads, but I sure am glad it somehow turned out like this:

Divorce “Horseheads”
 

 

For more info on DIvorce (including upcoming tour dates and current releases) visit the Divorce the Band blog.

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Screw the Royal wedding - listen to Divorce instead

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
Don’t Need You - The Herstory of Riot Grrrl documentary


 
As an introduction to a brief but important music movement, or even just a simple nostalgia piece for people who were around at the time, Kerri Koch’s 2006 documentary Don’t Need You: The Herstory of Riot Grrrl makes for interesting and compelling viewing.

For a brief while in the early 90s it seemed Riot Grrrl was everywhere. It was a breath of fresh air in the male-dominated grunge landscape, though some of those grunge bands did their best to promote it and more pro-feminist ideals (the ghost of Kurt looms into view in a flowing, floral-print dress). But Riot Grrrl was met mostly with derision in the mainstream media, what with its core values of fanzines and localised press, not to mention of course feminism, self-expression and the forcing through of female self-determination in a male-oriented world.

Looking back now It’s hard to believe how much of an uproar some female musicians simply being angry could cause, but then as has been mentioned numerous times no-one wants to see women being angry (supposedly). Pretty soon Riot Grrrl was reduced to a simple concept of being merely “angry girls”, and made easy to dismiss. UK Riot Grrrl contingent Huggy Bear famously got ejected from the studios of tacky yoof program The Word (on which they had just performed) for heckling the presenters about their Barbie doll-imitating porn star guests. This got the band into the national media, but also sealed their fate as mere rabble-rousers while ignoring their efforts to create alternative spaces and dialogs. But still, Riot Grrrl was oppositional, it was dramatic, and it was fucking exciting. 

Just as quickly as it bubbled up however, Riot Grrrl seemed to fizzle out. I guess my perception of this was skewed hugely by the mainstream UK music press, which was my only port of access to alternative music and culture in those pre-internet days. It was a mutual love/hate thing (more hate/hate I guess) with the performers and the scene itself withdrawing from the mainstream attention and the negative associations it brought. In a very interesting read called Riot Grrrl - the collected interviews on Collpase Board, Everett True (the editor of Melody Maker at the time, and the person chiefly responsible for breaking the scene in the UK music media) explains his own role and that of the press:

Riot Grrrl was basically about female empowerment – females doing stuff on their own terms, separate from men, making up their own rules and systems and cultures. Sure, men were welcome, but they had to understand that for once they weren’t going to be automatically given first place. (One of the reasons my own role in the gestation of Riot Grrrl as a popular cultural movement became so confused was that after a certain period of time I began to listen to those around me – female musicians, activists, artists, human beings – who felt that having such a high-profile male associated with a fledgling female movement was absolutely counter-productive. This is almost the first time I’ve spoken to anyone since then.)

Don’t Need You - The Herstory of Riot Grrrl is important because it lets the creators of the movement speak for themselves. The editing may be rough in places, and the story may jump around in chronology a wee bit, but you get to hear first hand from the original Riot Grrrls themselves what informed their third-wave feminist views and what inspired them to start their own scene. Featured interviewees include Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill, Alison Wolfe of Bratmobile, Corin Tucker of Heavens To Betsy / Sleatter-Kinney and Fugazi’s Ian McKaye:
 


 
That’s part one - part two and part three are after the jump…

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
A girl’s best friend is her guitar: L7 on Letterman


 
One of the best bands of the whole “grunge” era, here’s L7 rocking the fuck out of Letterman (and his band) in 1992 with their stone cold classic “Pretend We’re Dead”. For no other reason than it’s very cool and they look like they’re having a blast:
 

 

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion