By Tilly Bean
The LOUD WOMEN Anthology is a collection of songs by up and coming female punk bands. The anthology acts as a dialogue for women in the 21st century, whether it’s mummycore band The Wimmins’ Institute (of which Cassie Fox, who runs LOUD WOMEN, is a part) warning young girls of the predatory nature of Lad Culture in their song ‘Nandos’, or your “local girl gang” Fight Rosa Fight!
There will be something for every loud woman in this anthology.
As well as releasing their first anthology of music, non-profit project LOUD WOMEN hold regular live music nights, release an ezine, run a record company, a festival and a Facebook page, all in the name of “putting women on stage.”
Expect punk sounds, attire and attitude as this first volume of what will be an enormous collection of easily heard LOUD WOMEN regulars. At the beginning of the album, we hear songs from ‘Dream Nails’, as seen on the Sisterhood stage at Glastonbury in 2016, and Bratakus, a riot grrrl group from Glasgow. Their songs ‘DIY ‘and ‘Pollution Evolution’ secure the vibe of loudness, anger, and heavy punk for the rest of the listening experience.
The rest of the album delivers just that. We get gritty garage rock from DOLLS, Gladiators Are You Ready’s ‘I Want to Love You ‘combines Stooges-esque guitar sounds with a post-grunge drum beat. The Ethical Debating Society’s ‘Poor Liam’ and Deux Furieuses’ ‘Out Of My System’ brings the noise. Distorted vocals and crashing cymbals. It truly demonstrates that Punk is not dead, only fed by the injustices of this day and age.
There are more humorous songs from GUTTFALL’s Keyboard Warrior; a song about internet trolls told with an X-Ray Spex style Saxophone hidden behind the wall of noise created by the drums. Followed by ‘Tyler is Not A Feminist’ by Little Fists about men who pretend to be feminists so that they can get sex, in other words “the worst kind of liars”.
Coming up to the end of the album, we hear ‘Black Is Beautiful’ by Madame So which tells the story of a girl realising her fluidity in embracing different cultures whilst being a Black female. As well as having meaningful lyrics, musically this track has a very danceable beat that you can properly jump around to. Followed by Flightmilk’s ‘Chaperone’: a reminder that as women we shouldn’t have to be passive for men to like us (obvious really.)
It seems the more serious, targeted tracks come at the end of this volume. At the end of all the noise produced by all these loud women there is an incredibly moving poem by Janine Booth called Real Rape, a reminder of why this anthology and this project as a movement is what it is. Booth talks us through the ways in which rape is perceived in our culture and how different experiences and circumstances are thought of as worse than others. It is hard hitting for a car journey or easy listening at home, nevertheless it grounds the whole album and draws it to an end for reflection.
It will be exciting to see what LOUD WOMEN will come up with next as well as the new bands they will bring to the forefront of female musicianship with their next anthology.
• Available to pre-order from loudwomen.org
• Launch: Saturday 18 Mar @ The Sound Lounge, Tooting