Bratmobile - Ladies, Women and Girls (Cover Artwork)


Ladies, Women and Girls (2000)


I really wanted to like this album. Bratmobile, in part, are responsible for creating a veritable revolution in the punk scene. And what was this revolution called? Riot grrl. Along with DC based Bikini Kill, Bratmobile helped create a national touring network and a zine distribution network which showcased feminist bands and literature. Because of Bratmobile's efforts, sexism in the scene was somewhat reduced, and as a result, girls were actually able to see and participate in concerts. Or so I hear. I was around nine during Bratmobile's heyday and, a boy. But, I can listen to the music now, and it is, quite simply, boring.

While Bratmobile have matured as musicians since previous releases, much of their reckless rock n' roll charm is lost. The fourteen tracks on Ladies, Women and Girls blur into one long, indistinguishable surf jam. For the most part, the album is a little more than listenable. At times, it is catchy – "In Love with All My Lovers" and "Girlfriends Don't Keep" with handclaps – "Gimme Brains" and keyboards – "You're Fired." But for the most part, Ladies, Women and Girls seems to be devoid of any enthusiasm whatsoever. Unlike Bikini Kill's Kathleen Hanna, whose vocal range could go from primal, guttural screams to beautiful melodics within a single song, Bratmobile's Allison Wolfe's voice falls flat. Wolfe sings in such a monotonous voice, she's basically speaking.

Ladies, Women and Girls seems to lack any real enthusiasm or emotion. Unless you are a diehard Bratmobile fan, I wouldn't purchase this album.