Wednesday, June 2, 2010
EMILY'S SASSY LIME - DESPERATE SCARED BUT SOCIAL (Kill Rock Stars, 1995)
When it comes to riot-grrrl bands, your Bikini Kills & your Bratmobiles tend to get a lot of attention, but Emily's Sassy Lime might not have made it onto your radar (fittingly enough, they apparently formed after a Bikini Kill/Bratmobile show in 1993 that they had to sneak out to attend - rock & roll high school!) . Maybe it's because they were from Southern California & not Olympia. Their backstory is an almost textbook example of early/mid-90s DIY punk: three teenage girls who didn't own their own instruments & were forbidden from practicing by their parents start a band, swapping borrowed instruments at shows & writing songs over answering machines until they all graduate high school, go to college & break up the band. Somewhere along the line (okay, it was 1995), Kill Rock Stars puts out their sole album, Desperate Scared But Social. Like their more twee spiritual forebearers Beat Happening, the songs are often not "songs" as much as shambling, charmingly awkward bursts of giddy noise. Snotty vocals, off-kilter rhythms & we-know-we're-amateurish-but-we-don't-give-a-fuck attitude - they were doing it all in Southern California a good decade before Mika Miko came along. This whole sound seems to be popping up in the influence lists of more & more contemporary female-fronted punky-noise-pop bands (Wetdog & Pens from the UK immediately come to mind), so listen to this & fill in the gaps in your riot-grrrl education.