Rock you like a hurricane

Aug 23, 2000 at 12:00 am
Armed ’n’ alarmed, the three women and token bloke of Britain’s Lolita Storm come on as musical mercenaries with a mission. On their excellent Girls Fucking Shit Up, they’ve created the sound of a jumbled ’n’ jigsawed ’60s girl gang run amok: machine-gunned choruses, time bomb-ticking count-offs and songs more sinister than sing-along. It’s an invigorating 15-song, 25-minute air raid that evokes Huggy Bear and X-Ray Spex more than the Shangri-Las. Unlike those punk predecessors, however, LS’s politics are more in the music than the message. By fucking up and punking up the sounds of preceding girl groups — and exploding the Svengali figure — this Brit brigade has infiltrated pop history, threatening to disassemble then reassemble retro radio as we know it.

If LS is the sound of waging war, then Hanin Elias’ solo debut is the sound of one raging. More blatantly political and sonically less fun than G-F-S-U, In Flames is an all-out aggro-techno assault. Throughout 62 blistering minutes of take-no-prisoners punk, Elias — who’s also one-fourth of Berlin’s Atari Teenage Riot — lays out her anarchist-feminist manifesto on songs such as "Girl Serial Killer," where she rants and chants her message of gender, political and social equality by any means necessary. With shared aesthetics and intents, it’s not surprising that both albums are utterly necessary: In a world of Britneys and Whitneys, it’s more vital than ever for women to create such off-center and on-target art. This is, as they say, the sound of a revolution.