It's time for a riot grrrl revolution.
We'll always have a soft spot for the riot grrrl heroines of the 90s, and in the current political climate their influence is still very much relevant. In honour of these talented women (and men), we pay tribute to some of the best revivalists of the movement, who came long after the pioneering years but proved that punk never died.
Sleater-Kinney / Photo Credit: Charlie Engman
One such set of feminist-punk legends are Sleater-Kinney, who are returning with a new album entitled The Center Won't Hold in August 2019, produced by none other than indie-pop sweetheart St. Vincent. Technically, they aren't revivalist at all; they were around in the tail-end of the original riot grrrl era, but they really hit their stride by the turn of the century with 2000's All Hands on the Bad One. Their newest single is the epic Hurry On Home, which we just can't stop listening to.
This Oklahoma duo released their debut album in 2011, but you can't help but compare them to the likes of iconic riot grrrl bands Bikini Kill and Babes in Toyland. They may be late arrivals, but in case you have any doubts about their ethos, their second album Lost Wonderfuls was even produced by Exene Cervenka of first wave punk band X. Their latest album came last year with The Make It All Show, and they released a new single entitled Flyer earlier this year.
The Julie Ruin
As the lead singer of Bikini Kill and later Le Tigre, Kathleen Hanna was a riot grrrl pioneer, so when she returned with a new band - The Julie Ruin - in 2013, fans were joyous. The band was named after Hanna's pseudonym from the late 90s and also features Bikini Kill bassist Kathi Wilcox. They released debut album Run Fast in 2013, and followed with Hit Reset three years later.
They may have a cute name, but that doesn't make this Minneapolis trio any less fierce feminists. Their first album was 2008's Born Ready, with their second album Pressure coming in 2013. In 2015, the band even supported Jack Off Jill during a one-off show in the US, and the following year they dropped 7 Hearts. We really miss these guys.
The Shondes are not an all-girl band but we still class them as feminist-punk which is the entire essence of riot grrrl. Having said that, they are also well known for being extremely vocal regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, being a Jewish band, which has stirred up a lot of controversy. Their first album, The Red Sea, came in 2008 with their latest having arrived nearly three years ago entitled Brighton.
Possibly the only band here that are actually more famous for their activism than their actual music - which we think is the true sentiment of punk. They first hit the public eye in 2012 when they were arrested and sentenced to prison for staging a protest performance against Russian President Vladimir Putin at an Orthodox Church in Moscow. While public opinion in their country was less than sympathetic, they received considerable admiration in the West. The band have never released an album, but have seven songs and embarked on their first North American tour last year.
The Ethical Debating Society
We love a DIY punk band and The Ethical Debating Society has got to be one of the best to come out of London, which is saying a lot. They have been a big part of the queercore scene in the UK and, like Kitten Forever, have previously been chosen to support Jack Off Jill live. And yet they've only released one album! New Sense was released in 2015 and, while they have released singles since then such as 2017's London Particular, there's been little notion of a follow-up anytime soon.
Not strictly a riot grrrl band, but certainly one of the best female-led punk bands to come out of the 00s. The Distillers released their self-titled debut album in 2000 and followed with 2002's Sing Sing Death House and the critically acclaimed Coral Fang in 2003. Frontwoman Brody Dalle went on to form Spinnerette after the band's break-up, releasing one album in 2009, and unveiled her debut solo album Diploid Love in 2014. Now, though, The Distillers are set to return with a new album, after making an exciting comeback last year.