Gravel is the feminist punk band that we need and deserve.
When I heard Gravel for the first time last year, I was immediately filled with hope for the future of Boston punk and DIY. Their early releases were short and hard-hitting, unabashedly feminist, and full of the right kind of attitude. Not to mention, the band was based about 10 minutes from where I grew up. Over the summer, the four-piece put out their second tape, I Never Asked, aka six tracks of totally empowering fuck-you feminist punk.
The first track, “Chrissy Cried Wolf,” is one of the longest on the record, with crunchy guitar, energetic drums, and a haunting lead guitar melody during the chorus. Third track “That She Is Me” showcases the band’s sense of humor and self-awareness. It starts off with the sound of a beer bottle being opened and sipped down, followed by vocalist Victoria sardonically listing the qualities of a woman that are most often criticized, before proudly owning up to all of them, stating “that she is me!” It’s a validating track that pushes back against stereotypes about “bitchy” and “trashy” women, calling into question the notion that women should be ashamed when being criticized by misogynists. “Straight to Hell” features honest lyrics that express resilience in response to being hurt and used. Throughout the course of the tape, Gravel shows off their ability to write intelligent, critical, and candid lyrics. Their a fun, rebellious, and clever band that any feminist punk can find something about them to love. All six tracks on I Never Asked are at the same time melodic and fuzzy, tough and thoughtful, with pop-influenced elements of garage rock and straight-up punk appearing throughout. I Never Asked left me wanting to listen to it on repeat from beginning to end, and reading through the thoughtful yet funny lyrics left me thinking, “wow, this is a band that totally GETS IT - and has a great sense of humor at the same time." The band said it best when they simply call themselves "just some girls with tunes and tudes."
Listen to Gravel on bandcamp.
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Jaclyn Walsh is a Cancer sun/Libra moon/Leo rising from Massachusetts. They perform as DUMP HIM (instagram and twitter.)