If you’re a fan of the Riot Grll subgenre like we are and you’ve never crossed paths with Kamikaze Girls, you’re about to be amazed. The Leeds-based duo have been admired across the punk scene since the release of their debut EP Sad, which critics sung the praises of for its brutally honest lyrics, and this standout writing is even clearer on their debut album Seafoam.
The album kicks off with an immediate tension thanks to the echoed guitars and the dark, twisted sound of ‘One Young Man‘. These effects offset the stark honesty and horror of the first lyrics; “one young man put a gun to my head” . This line sets the tone for the rest of the song, which describes frontwoman Lucinda Livingstone’s struggles to deal with the trauma of this event and move on; it’s a brilliant example of how cathartic writing can be for artists. The rest of the song has a hard-hitting distorted sound, reminiscent of bands like Savages and Bikini Kill, that matches the frustration in the central line ‘I’ve had enough’.
‘Berlin’ and ‘Teenage Feelings’ have a more upbeat crowd-pleasing sound, but don’t be fooled; the latter track in particular has some of the darkest lyrics on the album. ‘Teenage Feelings’ reminisces about a simpler time before Livingstone came face-to-face with the experiences that shaped the album. That mood of having your rose-coloured glasses sharply pulled away from you resonates with young and old audiences alike, and the guitars are punchy and strong enough to ring out in live shows.
A personal favourite is ‘KG Goes To The Pub’, a thrashing anthem that feels perfect for the mosh pit. The guitar riff played in the bass is an absolute killer, getting across the rage and frustration at trying to enjoy a night out only to be leered at and felt up by strangers – and really, who wouldn’t love to yell “sleazebag, what do you want from me?” at these people? Between this track and the final song ‘I don’t want to be sad forever’, the songs look at the various ways the Kamikaze Girls have tried to cope with their problems. If you’re struggling yourself, this affirming record may well be your saviour.
Seafoam by Kamikaze Girls is available 9th June via Big Scary Monsters