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Don't Call It A Cumback

You know what's really fun? when you think you know everything about something, say a topic like the history of women in punk rock, and you're like "Shit, now I know everything; there's no way I'm ever gonna be pleasantly surprised, let alone...
AK
Κείμενο Amy Kellner

You know what's really fun? when you think you know everything about something, say a topic like the history of women in punk rock, and you're like "Shit, now I know everything; there's no way I'm ever gonna be pleasantly surprised, let alone completely blown away, ever again. Because I am complete and that totally sucks." But then someone, say the record label Kill Rock Stars, goes ahead and does the impossible. Kill Rock Stars goes "Hey, here's something you might have missed" and puts out this amazing 2CD reissue of an impossibly obscure, hitherto unavailable Swiss all-female punk band from the early 80s, and all of a sudden it's a bright new day and it's like a present fallen from the sky! That's so fun when that happens!

ΔΙΑΦΗΜΙΣΗ

You all know about the original UK girl scene: Poly Styrene, the Slits, the Raincoats, but did you know about the queens of the Swiss-Wave scene, Kleenex (which subsequently became Liliput after the grumpy tissue company made them change their name)? Did you know that they wrote the best, most quintessential bratty girl punk song of all time, called "Split" whose wildly, gleefully-shouted lyrics go "Hotch-potch, Hugger-mugger, Bow-wow, Hara-kiri, Hoo-poo, Huzza, Hicc-up, Hum-drum, Hexa-pod, Hell-cat, Helter-skelter, Hop-scotch"? Maybe you read the teeny mention old fart Greil Marcus gave them in his oft-referenced book

Lipstick Traces

, you know, the one where it takes him 450 pages to liken punk rock to Dadaism (no shit, Sherlock!). You probably didn't.

Kleenex/Liliput existed between 1978 and 1983, changing line-ups a bunch of times (and even letting a couple of boys slip in occasionally) but always including guitarist/singer Marlene Marder and bassist/singer Klaudia Schiff. They wrote about 46 songs total (all of which are collected on the amazing new compilation) but they only knew four songs for the first year of the band's existence. Marder says "We'd just play the same four short songs over and over again for hours and the audience would just keep screaming 'Again! Again!' They were four very good songs."

The other 42 are equally revolutionary without ever actually touching on any overtly political themes. The revolution is the sound. See, learning can be fun when you're dancing! Kim Gordon, one of the band's biggest fans, put it smartest when she said "They used girl voices in a joyous language that pronounced freedom without commercialization of girlhood or political pedantry. The sounds are their own outside the conventions of male oriented rock or punk rock." She's right, dude. Almost makes me wanna go back to school and re-read all that l'écriture feminine Helene Cixous shit, you know? But this is

VICE

, so never mind. Just go buy the fucking album and dance around your room and try to turn homosexual if you at all can, okay stupid boys? After all, it's a bright new day!

AMY KELLNER