The whole riot grrrl scene was a much needed voice in the male dominated testosterone driven world of rock music. It's roots embedded from Washington state to Washington D.C but mostly the Portland and surrounding Seattle area. Bikini Kill and Bratmobile were the two first bands that established the ideology and groundwork for all others to follow. Bikini Kill being the more confrontational and abrasive of the two. Bratmobile was definitely the more fun of the two. What started as a voice in fanzines that spoke for female empowerment, abuse, and other important issues. Bratmobile had nothing more than a few songs and a couple practice sessions before parading around as an all out band. Which is partially responsible for their more upbeat attitude in comparision to the in face your politics of Bikini Kill. After finally realizing they had to take themselves a little more seriously if they were ever going to go anywhere as a band, Bratmobile got their act together and started playing shows.
Their first full length album, 'Pottymouth' was finally released in 1993 on the Kill Rock Stars label. An awesome album that is the only real testament to their early years, outside of some 7 inches, compilation appearances and 'The Real Janelle' EP. In the early 2000's, Bratmobile got back together out of nowhere and released the surprisingly good 'Ladies, Women and Girls'. After longer than five years of not hearing anything from them, they come out of nowhere without sounding like they skipped a beat. Signed on to Cali punk label, Lookout! Records. Home to everyone from The Queers, Pansy Division, and at one time Green Day. Two years after 'Ladies, Women and Girls' Bratmobile released 'Girls Get Busy in 2002. And we haven't heard an album from them since. But if they just reappear out of nowhere again, I won't be surprised.
Basically, ''Girls Get Busy'' is a continuation of the Surfy punk pop that they've been playing since 1990. Very little has changed. The production is a bit more polished, but outside of that, they're right in their element. It's just as fun and catchy as what you'd expect. The lyrics are geared in the same manner that they always have been. ''''Baby, I don't hate men, just all the things they do''. I've always had the upmost respect for the riot grrrl scene and enjoy almost all of the bands that embody the spirit. I must say I personaly prefer Bikini Kill, but Bratmobile is just a good time! And this album is proof that they will most likely always be a good time.
For the most part, every song is solid and well executed. To something like ''Cryin' Trying' Lyin'' that sounds like it's straight off of Pottymouth, to ''Chicken or the Egg'' which is full on Ventures style stuff mixed up with Joan Jett meets Beat Happening. If you're a fan of any Bratmobiles previous albums, then without a doubt you'll enjoy this. One of the only things that I can't seem to get past is the repetition. It's basically the same formula over and over again. But hey, if it's not broke, don't fix it.
Bratmobile utilizes the surf style in the same manner that Mudhoney does. In fact, I'd almost refer to Bratmobile as the female version of Mudhoney. While Mudhoney does have more records under their belt, and most likely more experience, they both are forever in debt to punk rock and surf rock.
If Bikini Kill is a little to abrasive for you, then don't give up on riot grrrl just yet. Because Bratmobile may be your ticket. Sure, there are more than just two riot grrrl bands out there but these two are sort of the poster children for it. I'm glad that Bratmobile got back together to release two more solid records following the same formula that we loved in the early 90's. That way if we get tired of 'Pottymouth' and 'The Real Janelle' we have two more albums to spice it up with. ''Girls Get Busy'' is like part 2 of the return of Bratmobile.
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