Chart Topper: March 2018

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Wonder what it takes for an album earn a spot on the KALX Top 35? Check out our album review for one of the most played records in March, Typical Girls Vol. 4.

By Chandler

Various Artists - Typical Girls Vol. 4

“Who invented the typical girl?” The Slits posed this question with their classic 1979 track, and Emotional Response responded with their compilation series Typical Girls. The Flagstaff-based label, run by married punks Jen Turrell and Stewart Anderson, recently released Typical Girls Vol. 4, a new and blistering compilation featuring 16 new punk, hardcore, and indie bands fronted by women.

They get straight to the point with a ripper from the Raleigh-based No Love called “Dead If I Do.” Clocking in at 1:22, singer Elizabeth Lynch screams and snarls how she “tries to be careful, but never learn[s]” over driving guitars and bass. While you take a minute to catch your breath, Los Angeles-based French Vanilla gives you some saxy art punk with “Evolution of a Friendship.” Their creative funky bass lines and Sally Spitz’s theatrical and dynamic vocals harken back to the golden days of post punk, connecting to the album’s namesake. French Vanilla provides a foundation and sets the tone for the rest of the album, which explores the many splintered ways punk has inspired new genres, and how women show how it’s done.

Turrell and Anderson switch it up with “Colere Vide” from German group Couteau Latex, an angular and synthy coldwave track. The inclusion of international synth punk provides some needed diversity in the listen, and while I was wishing for more experimental and electronic tracks on the compilation, it was a great track to include. Following close on its heels is a track from Barcelona-based Chroma, and while “Intervencion y Disciplina” is slower than other tracks, the pounding drums and Laura’s rant-like vocals pack the punch and proved to be one of the highlights of the album. If you’re yearning for more throwback sounds, Schande comes through with a ‘60s garage bop. “Delivery Boy” will have you bopping your head, stomping, and crying about heartbreakers with their catchy hooks. Primitives follows this up with “Rattle My Cage,” another retro jam, albeit with a more ‘90s feel to it.

The album finishes with a track from local group Cruel Summer, which starts with dreamy guitars and airy vocals, then dives into a driving and discordant wall of sound juxtaposed with those same vocals. It’s a fitting end to an album that bounces from extreme to extreme.

Typical Girls reveals the breadth of work women are doing in punk and revolutionizing the genre. From art punk to hardcore to progressive emo, this compilation proves that women are fierce as hell in any genre and have carved out a rightful place in punk. If anything, it shows that the typical girl is anything but typical, and that’s punk as hell.

Favorite Tracks: “Evolution of a Friendship,” “Colere Vide,” “Intervencion y Disciplina,” “Delivery Boy,” “No Bridge Burned”

Chandler graduated with a Media Studies degree from Cal and has been at KALX since 2014. When she’s not snuggling pups or cooking, you can hear her on the air as Hella Bent.