July 24, 2014

Compilation: I Know Why The Caged Grrrl Sings

Tuff Enuff Records' third installment of fierce punk, feminist politics, and upright attitudes.

Riots Not Diets is a Brighton-based event willed by queer punk and feminist politics. It's DIY, not for profit, and bursting from the seams with acceptance, passion, and clenched fists. This event was the reason for the creation of Tuff Enuff Records and earlier this month, Tuff Enuff released the third chapter of their ongoing compilation series. I Know Why the Caged Grrrl Sings is the latest in the saga and was entirely put together by bands that have donated their tracks for the benefit of the label – and boy, if I do say so myself, these kindhearted, selfless punks really bared their teeth throughout this record. This release is full of sounds from every nook and cranny of all shapes, sizes, and genders. Each band jerk their knees and nod their heads to gender centrality throughout this release – whether it be Frozy with a shimmer of some twee pop in their smile, or The Lead Role introducing another continuum in their track "Not Right", by ripping out their quickly beating hearts and thrusting themselves onto the floor, half yelping, half groaning, as the front woman yaps: “Where are all the girls / all the lovely girls?” over, and over, and over – to the extent that you might end up dialling up a few girls and starting a new project yourself sheerly out of the demand of this female fronted plea for help. The sounds of this LP and the messages beyond those sounds are hard to summarize in a sentence. You can’t just pick a genre and its intention onto the back of a napkin and pin it onto a cork board to stare at and consider.

This release also refuses to be stereotyped. I Know Why the Caged Grrrl Sings varies from ups to downs to bellyside ups, to indie vibrations and jangly guitars, to downpat queercore, to THUMPING and SLAMMING and CRASHING – and this disparity is exactly what makes this LP what it is. This compilation, working almost as a meeting point of a lot of different genders and a lot of different genres, will weave its way into anyone through a pure sense of acceptance without any sense of bias or stigma. This comp will hit the right nerve for anyone who gives it a once through, as this collection of bands have all taken the time to catch the eyes of ears of anyone regardless of personal tastes. This LP will drill its way into everyone and anyone – and I don’t know about you, but for me, I Know Why the Caged Grrrl Sings left me with a box of frozen peas soothing my aching backside, a tissue up my nose soaking up fifteen tracks worth of nosebleeds, and a flicker in the back of my brain willing me to recollect the essence of Riot Grrrl in my own town. Here’s to letting the comp eat away at you in all the right ways, whether it be your skin cells, your brain cells, or your stem cells – everyone’s leaving this party with some kinda buzz and some kinda drive.


Listen to Riots Not Diets on bandcamp.

Madalyn Trewin, a scrawny Australian teenager, who is feeding her obsession with dogs, David Lynch and Daniel Johnston twenty-four hours a day. If not that, she's writing about things she likes and saturating her friends in glitter so she can take photos of them to post onto her blog.