Grunge Queens, Riot Grrrls & Female Fronted Indie Bands | The Popjustice Forum

Grunge Queens, Riot Grrrls & Female Fronted Indie Bands

Discussion in 'Comeback corner' started by anfunny2003, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. I've been revisiting some of my 90s music obsessions this month, particularly from the states, and I've rediscovered a great affection for the alternative rock scene, especially the female fronted acts. I wonder if anyone else was/is into all this? A bit more Alt Rock Justice than Pop Justice, I know, but humour me...

    Starting with the heavy-hitters; Hole, Babes In Toyland, L7... of the three, L7 are really rocking my world this week. Great for the gym, even! Their Hungry For Stink album sounds so much better now than I ever remember it to be back then. I just found out Donita Sparks put out a solo album in 2008, very 80s pop-rock, glam-pop and Joan Jett-ish apparently (I just ordered a copy).

    Also, I'm sure I missed a lot of bands from around this period, so please shout out any others if you like. Assuming another soul post here! Ha.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
  2. Re: Grunge Queens & Riot Grrrls

    I generally listen to the music you've described more than pop music. I have a real love for the good end of the grunge scene and riot grrrls. Sleater-Kinney's Call The Doctor has been playing in the background for the last twenty minutes. I love Sonic Youth and rate EVOL as one of my all-time favourite albums. Juliana Hatfield is one of my most revered artists and I listen to her religiously. Babes In Toyland? Adore. Bikini Kill? I was a fan of them long before Kate Nash. Then there are other rock groups and alternative bands which are female fronted such as Angelica, Novella, Jack Off Jill, Defenestration, Kittie, Bratmobile, Heavens To Betsy...and I love all of them.

    You are not alone!
  3. Re: Grunge Queens & Riot Grrrls

    I'm familiar with many of these, got all the Sonic Youth albums, Juliana Hatfield, Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney... but I can't include Angelica in this category. They were actually a rather twee, cute, girlie indie-pop band to start with and I never got the transition... it didn't work for me. Things like Teenage Girl Crush and Why Did You let My Kitten Die? sound like The Pipettes or something, and then they met Kat Bjelland and decided to be Babes In Toyland wannabes and I never enjoyed their later stuff.
  4. Re: Grunge Queens & Riot Grrrls

    I'm slightly in the 90s these days, and the alternative end of the spectrum too. Got the Last Splash deluxe last week, and am looking to work on a Juliana Hatfield anthology soon, plus a Throwing Muses set. But they're not quite grungey enough...or are they?

    Sonic Youth also.
  5. Re: Grunge Queens & Riot Grrrls

    I couldn't live without my Juliana Hatfield albums. I find her endlessly fascinating. Become What You Are is her most commercial album and it's so alt-90s. I love her!

    Incidentally, my first proper live gig was Babes In Toyland at King Tuts.
  6. Re: Grunge Queens & Riot Grrrls

    Well, they all crossover I guess. Janis Tanaka [L7], Kat Bjelland [Babes In Toyland] and Courtney Love [Hole] all passed through the same band at one point [Pagan Babies], and acts like The Breeders, Throwing Muses, Pixies and Belly all shared members, too. Belly's bassist Gail Greenwood left them to join L7 and... well, if there was a alternative rock family tree, they'll basically all be related! So, we'll expand the thread to cover "Female Fronted Indie Bands" too.
  7. I've never actually heard L7 (though I must have something by them on a comp somewhere), I only know the name because of that infamous business on live TV. Hole did some good stuff, I probably need to get their albums one day (I only have the most recent one).
  8. Thanks for posting! This is probably my favorite genre of music. I do like the part of that is a little more melodic and more towards the pop end of the spectrum. I love Hole, Juliana Hatfield and the Throwing Muses for that reason. A few of the other bands that were mentioned like L7 and Babes in Toyland are a little hard and heavy for me.
    Besides Kate Nash's Girl Talk which I love, a great recent album in this genre is the self titled album by Wild Flag, which has two members of Sleater Kinney in it as well as Mary Timony from Helium. Mary Timony also has some solo albums which are great.
    You say it's not pop music as discussed in this forum, but it kind of was in the 90's. This type of music was on the radio and was pretty mainstream back then. Although now of course, it's not really considered pop or in the mainstream, which is more and more dominated by electronic/dance.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2013
  9. L7 are criminally remembered chiefly for Pretend We're Dead [and the double-whammy of getting the vagina out live on The Word and throwing a used tampon into the crowd at Reading Festival]. Prodigy covered their song Fuel My Fire on their Fat Of The Land album [Saffron from Republica on vocals] and they've been on umpteen compilations. Remembered also for green/blue hair and scary eyeliner. The "hits" are Pretend We're Dead, Monster, Everglade, Shove, Andres... they have two early, noisy garage rock albums, then they hit pay dirt with Bricks Are Heavy [produced by Butch Vig between Nevermind and Garbage] and then Hungry For Stink was a lot darker, but I find it the better of the two "hit" albums. The next couple of albums saw members depart and a change in fortune. Not the best band ever, but I enjoy them.

    Hole are amazing. If you don't have Live Through This, I'd remedy this soon. It is a very poppy, sweet-tasting, Kinderwhore monster. The artwork is all beauty queens, jewellery boxes, lipstick, flowers and frills... and musically it's full of energy and anthemic girly grunge with a bite. The ballads are really good... Asking For It, Doll Parts and Softer, Softest. She Walk's On Me is one of my favourite Hole tracks. So fast and frantic. I really love this album... I like all their albums, but this one is special.
  10. Are we allowing Curve & Garbage? The Heart Throbs were also a favourite of mine, Cleopatra Grip is a fine album.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
  11. I guess Curve and Garbage have whole threads to themselves already?
  12. Pretend We're Dead and/or Shove ring a bell....those are probably the ones I have on compilations. I shall add Live Through This to my watch-list.
  13. One can never have too many mentions of Curve. I had Open Day At The Hate Fest on during the week and I tweeted to Undisco_Me (a fellow fan) about my adoration.

    There are so many of these bands to love and cherish. Jack Off Jill's Clear Hearts Grey Flowers is something of a cult classic which might appeal to some posters on this thread.


    If we're talking about Juliana Hatfield then her band Blake Babies should get a mention. They created the sort of lo-fi jangly pop which helped soundtrack the late 80s/early 90s for a lot of college students in America. I love them because (as I've just mentioned) they were Juliana's band. I'm Not Your Mother is their bitchy masterpiece:


    Other female fronted alternative bands I love include Romeo Void (not grunge but new wave and amazing) Huggy Bear, L7, Lolita Storm (one of my favourite punk bands ever), Seagull Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her, 7 Year Bitch, Belly, Altered Images (yes really) and many more. I love these groups. I think I learned more about punk from the female fronted punk bands my dad introduced me to more than the masculine groups. I actually took my surname not from Madonna (as everyone assumes) but Ciccone Youth aka Sonic Youth.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
  14. Pye


    I'm a big fan but I'm not sure whether they could be classed as grunge ' I wonder Why' was my single of the year when it was released.

    I still get goosebumps everytime I here this..... so many memories

    Was there ever a official video to 'Hooligan'? such a beautiful track... lovely strings
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
  15. I like Kim Shattuck. She was in the Pandoras, who I liked in the eighties, and then fronted The Muffs in the nineties and beyond. Who started off the Clueless movie with their rendition of Kid in America. Here's a delicate little number called Agony:

  16. Ciccone Youth - Into The Groovey. Genius.
  17. The Donnas. Let's lavish them with praise! Turn 21 is glorious, isn't it? Spiky guitars, female attitude, fun and trashy rock and roll. I love it and I love them.
  18. My Phair lady.

  19. Yes, how could any one forget Liz Phair? I love her. She has a rock side but in a pop melodic way, which is my favorite genre.
  20. I think my favourite Hole album is still Celebrity Skin (is that a disgraceful opinion?)

    No one has mentioned them yet, which makes me wonder (not being a connoisseur) whether they qualify... but in the late 90s I was obsessed with Luscious Jackson. Naked Eye in particular. WHAT A SONG.

    I also had a major crush on a certain member of Le Tigre at one point (probably around 2005/6) only to find out that he was actually a girl. See... it doesn't just happen to straight boys...
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