Bratmobile, Ladies, Women And Girls

Ira Robbins

By Ira Robbins

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
The archetypal riot grrrl album.

For the purity of essence that was riot grrrl, one need listen no further than Bratmobile. Formed in 1991 in the northwest ether surrounding both grunge and twee pop, the amateurish trio was short on chops but long on defiant young-miss 'tude. They released one raucous album (Pottymouth) and a couple of EPs in the first half of the '90s before splitting up — on stage. Reforming five years later, singer Allison Wolfe, guitarist Erin Smith and drummer Molly Neuman made this far more accomplished indie-punk album with no diminution in their spirited animosity. Culturally confident enough to use "Cheap Trick Record" as a way to undermine a musical rival ("Don't write a song about it/ Just gimme back my Cheap Trick record!") and still fighting the sex wars ("Girlfriends Don't Keep," "In Love With All My Lovers," "Do You Like Me Like That?"), Bratmobile deliver the archetypal 21st-century girl-group album.