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Though peers such as Hole's Courtney Love and Babes in Toyland's Kat Bjelland became more famous, no riot grrrl screamed with as much emotional force as Kathleen Hanna. Though it's frequently difficult to hear what she's saying, especially above the glorious din of Billy Karren's fierce guitar, Hanna declares herself a "self-fulfilling porno queen" on "Sugar," and threatens to "scratch out your eyes" with her "long red nails" in "Lil Red." The quartet's relentless hardcore is straight from the Dead Kennedys school, which means it's tough to take in large doses when you're in a reflective mood, but 1993's Pussy Whipped is one of the great punk albums of the '90s. --Steve Knopper
Top Customer Reviews
Are these 3 gals and a guy on drums angry? Their vocalist is. And the music is as far removed from her LE TIRGE band sound as is possible. Not only do the vocals shred into the mysogony that continues to exist in Western culture but the music backs it up with well written songs and I get the feeling it's two gals on guitar and bass. It's just got that sorta RAINCOATS/KLEENEX/BUSH TETRAS sorta feel to it, but harder edged. Every song zings on this album.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
From the outset, then, P-whipped announces that this album is not for the tepid or the weak. Yes, this is hardcore punk, but it's punk like we've never heard before. Whipped challenges its listeners (particularly its male listeners) to handle the screeching vocals, the guttural growls, the raw lyrics. Whipped is the musical equivalent of feminist "ecriture" (I knew my French would come in handy someday). The vocals serve as a good example. Hanna will gurgle and bellow (sounds that are typically UN-feminine); she'll screech at the top of her lungs like an elementary school girl on the playground (a sound that, like nails on a chalkboard, makes males wince in annoyance--which, of course, is the point); she'll sing coyly in mock, sex-doll "I-know-what-you-want-baby" come-ons; and when all else fails, she simply sings as if her life depended upon it.
The songs are also varied and top-notch. Rebel Girl is every bit an anthem as Anarchy in the U.K. Star-Bellied Boy is chilling in its drawing upon the innocence of youth (Star-Bellied, of course, is a reference to Dr. Seuss) to make a statemnt about male victimization of women. Finally, in true punk form, the entire album clocks in at around thirty minutes, ending with the song For Tammy Rae, a song which proves that Bikini Kill can be as tuneful as they wanna be.
For me it is their finest hour, and one of their earliest. Nothing sends the blood pumping through my veins as much as the sheer volatile energy on this album. And those human screams do cause the flow of genuine adrenalin... I swear it. I jog to this album sometimes, because it makes me run like a maniac. And i'm aware of the perversity of getting fit to bikini kill. ;) but it is proof of the inherent energy here...its worth listening in.