Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Bikini Kill Had Something To Say Back In 1990 | It Still Rings True In 2013

Bikini Kill Punk Band
I stumbled upon an old Bikini Kill video the other day.  They were performing live outside some state capitol building.  If they weren’t dressed in 1990’s clothing, I would have guessed by the musical style that it was a recording from 1979.  Was this a band that had been playing these songs for a dozen years? No, they were too young to have played back when so many other bands played this same style.  So why did this band gain the attention that they did?  This version of stripped down, repetitive, less musically inclined style of music has been done so many times before.   

So I took a look at the lyrics.  Maybe that’s where I would find the lure of this band. Yep, that’s where the band hits a nerve. They speak of being a strong woman, being yourself, feminism, and so much more. They might have sounded like old school punk rockers, but their lyrics were “new school.”   

Bikini Kill’s second album contains the song Alien She.  The words that ring out in that song speak of someone who is two women.  One is pulled towards the stereotypical way “girls” are supposed to be. The other tries to understand that other side. What I pull from that song is that it’s about someone who struggles to be herself.  Someone is trying to understand why they think the way that they do.

The band wrote more focused lyrics as they gained a better knowledge of song writing.  Take the song Double Dare Ya.  The song challenges women to speak out, to fight for their rights, to stand up for themselves. The song Feels Blind starts off slow, and almost melodic.  Is it an anthem? It could be. It has one great line, but the words leading up to it are very important. “As a woman I was taught to always be hungry. Women are well acquainted with thirst. Yeah, we could eat just about anything. We'd even eat your hate up like love.” 

Give Bikini Kill a try.  You might enjoy the mix of old school punk music set to lyrics that are so important, even 23 years after they first came out.  Keep in mind that the members of the band went on to work on women’s rights.  That’s more punk rock than so many other musicians who talked the talk, but never walked the walk.

No comments: