December 18, 2014

LP: Bad Behavior - This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things is the revengecore album we've been waiting for.

I first got a grip on what riot grrrl meant to me right before my sixteenth birthday. I had just befriended the kid in my art class with the snarkiest attitude and the best reputation (which all had to do with the bond between the height of my surf punk phase and the bleach job that lay as the best yellowed mess I had ever seen right on the top of his head). He always called me "grrrl" whenever he IM’d me. Once I’d heard him say it enough times that I couldn’t dismiss it as a typo anymore, I fled to the Internet as quickly as I could to define the lingo I had been pretending to be “in on” since I’d first started talking to him. Little did I know what would come of typing nine letters into a search engine and scrolling through the results for the next three years.

Since that day, my favorite thing about riot grrrl has been and always will be its ability to send wave after wave after wave of power across all eras. I mean, NO DUH – of course I’ve stitched out a space in my blood stream for the bands that brought us the scene originally back in Olympia, but the reality of what keeps my inner grrrl going is the teeth-pulling-punk thrown right into your face straight from the mouths of the bands being born today. There are constantly new up-and-coming projects to tweeze out of this scene’s skin and hold under a spotlight. And now, my spotlight’s been shining on the two-piece Bad Behavior for so long now they’re probably starting to burn beneath it.

Together, the two are Alexa Schles and Cris Neglia, and they’re from Brooklyn – so in other words, right on the doorstep of the city Kathleen Hanna’s kept on kicking and screaming about all these years. The kids in NY have still got a lot to say, and it's records like Bad Behavior’s debut, This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things, that are exactly why Kathleen’s bothered to keep stretching out her lungs all this time. I may be a plane trip and a half away from the next show, but this cassette has proven to me that what’s coming out of Brooklyn’s scene can still sock it to me despite the oceans between us. Three tracks into this LP and I already knew for sure that I didn’t need to be front row to feel what’s brewing between this two-piece. The sounds that throbbed through me as this album hit me for the first time were a kick in the teeth and a punch in the spleen from an angle my gut had never heard of until now.

This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things wrings the expectations of riot grrrl around the neck. There are twists and turns, drawn vocals darkly reminiscent of a witch hunt in reverse, types of yelps that push you to knock your own joints out of place, and the occasional surf riff. Bad Behavior have let their influences seep through a strainer ‘til they found their best bits – and then they spat it all into the cauldron along with a loogie of riot grrrl spirit. This record is the one my inner 16-year-old grrrl scout was holding out for. This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things is fueled by innovation, drive, and the kind of fun that makes you feel like tearing your own hair out and strangling your enemies with the strands you’re left clutching in-between your worn out white knuckles. Bad Behavior has brought us what we’ve all been begging for. So please, go with it, get on it – and please, for the love of God, don’t forget to lug your inner grrrl along with you.


Listen to Bad Behavior 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.