Bikini Kill, CD Version of the First Two Records
"We're Bikini Kill, and we want revolution girl style noooooow!" On this album's first song, nestled between shards of feedback, lead singer Kathleen Hanna howled the battle cry that lit riot grrrl afire. But it wasn't a double dare, it was a promise: for an instigative seven years, Bikini Kill dealt fierce blows to punk rock's misogynist "White Boy" (as one song is titled) through abrasive guitar blasts and lyrics that combined feminist polemic with the distinct intellectual valley-girl patois of their progressive hometown — teeny-tiny Olympia, WA. Encouraged by the DIY dictum that playing music sloppily was better than not playing music at all, Bikini Kill tore through their riffs with punk-rock vehemence and vision — but it was Hanna's exceptionally raw singing style that really got the band motoring. Sounding like the final hour of an exorcism, she growls, grunts, sasses, snarls, whines and screams this mother out; witness the snotty, possessed energy of "Suck My Left One" (a song congruous with X-Ray Spex's "Oh Bondage Up Yours"); the bloody shrieks and feedback tilt-a-whirl of "Thurston Hearts the Who"; and the self-determined anthem "Feels Blind," where Hanna spits, "I eat your hate like love!" Though their best album, Pussywhipped, arrived two years later, these tapes (half-produced by Fugazi's Ian MacKaye) seethe with untamed, eruptive energy and the thrilling first spark of ideation.