EP: Militant Girlfriend – ‘Militant Girlfriend’

Tell me girls in grunge died off in the ’90s and I’ll happily inform you that the word grunge was merely a byproduct of the human need to label just about everything. Be it Marilyn Manson or Mark Arm who coined the term first, it’s boring, and not befitting the bands whose influence can be heard in Militant Girlfriend’s brand new self-titled EP.

While I hate comparing bands to others who have gone before, I do so in the way that no two bands are the same, and every member of them is uniquely brilliant of their own accord. It’s not that Militant Girlfriend sound like they’re from the early ’90s, or other bands I’ve reviewed have been from a similar era or different, but that they could, back in the day, very easily have shared a bill with the likes of Veruca Salt and L7 or 7 Year Bitch (or at one of our Get in her Ears nights, which bring about the same feeling – which they did a few months ago!).

 

Militant Girlfriend’s solidly chromatic harmonies give their self-proclaimed queer as fuck rock music layers, and their voices work well together, often spinning different tales in the same few words like their forebears Post and Gordon or the Deals. Their EP proves that, in music, minimalism can be everything and more, that all a girl needs to do to start her own band is pick up a guitar and do it. Strong riffs, great vocals, highlight of the collection ‘Marge’ is like vintage Radiohead and Mazzy Star were thrown into a blender and then poured into a fine pint glass with a fancy design. This is a track that stands out on a brilliant album by a band that know how to work: together.

Militant Girlfriend is available to buy now on Bandcamp.

Em Burfitt
@fenderqueer

Interview: FemRock

Here at GIHE HQ we’re currently counting down the days to FemRock‘s DIY not-for-profit gig night in Brighton on 30th June. Kindred spirits of ours, they are all about putting girls to the front and promoting women in music. We caught up with FemRock to get the low down on what to expect this year, the meaning behind their manifesto and the artists they’re loving right now.

Hi FemRock!  Congratulations on your second annual female-fronted festival! FemRock is a PR company, so can you tell us a bit about how you began?  What inspired you to setup FemRock?
Thank you so much! So, FemRock began in February 2013 in response to a lack of women’s representation in the music scene. I’d grown up with a passion for going to live shows and eventually noticed a real lack of line ups that involved women, let alone bands that were fronted by women and especially bands fronted by women being higher on the line-up than an opening slot. I was sick and tired, and questioned why there was such a lack of diversity in these line-ups. At first I thought that maybe women weren’t as involved in music as men were, due to the sexist nature of the music industry, but soon discovered that it went deeper than that; women were involved in music but all male and male-fronted bands were prioritised. So, when I moved to Brighton I decided to create what I believed the music scene’s I had been involved in before were lacking. Thus FemRock was born!

And what kicked things off for the FemRock Fest last year?
By the time we decided to create FemRock Fest we had been running for 4 years. It was around this time that the lack of diversity in festival line-ups was in the spotlight, and I’d built up a strong team around me to run FemRock together. So rather than waiting for existing festivals to correct this problem, we decided to create our own festival with a line-up that showed just how many amazing bands had women members and frontwomen!

As part of the FemRock Manifesto you make an emphasis on being feminist, d.i.y. and unapologetically political – can you expand on these for us and what they mean to you?
Feminism runs through everything we do, as individuals and as a team running FemRock. It felt important to state that explicitly in our manifesto – not only are we creating spaces for women to make and share music, we’re also placing that within the broader world of activism and the significance of lifting up the voices of women and other oppressed groups. We invite feminist groups to display flyers and petitions at our events, and work alongside local campaigns whenever possible. At our festival we always fundraise for relevant causes and provide spaces for organisations to display their information and talk to attendees. We don’t shy away from our politics, and we work hard to ensure that an accepting and loving culture is created at FemRock for people of all identities while recognising that we are all learning and growing. We don’t tolerate hatred and harassment, and we hope that our girls to the front ethos helps to create a night where everyone feels safe, heard and can have a great time too.

Here at GIHE we have massive respect for all those D.I.Y. artists out there, so it’s great to see an organisation supporting them by putting so many of them on your line up!  A couple of our favs are on there – in particular Charmpit, Militant Girlfriend and The Baby Seals – how did you go about picking the bands for the final line up?
It was a combination of us approaching bands we’ve watched and admired from afar and inviting back bands who are FemRock favourites that we’ve worked with in the past. A festival is a great way of bringing together all those bands together to create one stellar line-up and we’re so excited to have them all on one line-up – we feel so spoiled to have them all!

How do you all feel about the general lack of female headliners at a lot of big festivals at the moment?  
I don’t think there’s any excuse for the lack of diversity or lack of adequate representation on big festival line-ups and I don’t think it’s good enough to make a promise of correcting this by 2020, as many festivals have pledged, when there are so many talented bands involving women out there right now and who have been there for a long time, and simply gone unnoticed. We have a long way to go, but hopefully we’ll get there soon.

The festival is not just about music either is it?  You’ve got 2 vegan food stalls and a feminist marketplace – can you tell us a bit more about that? 
We’re very fortunate to have Cactus Kitchen Gals and Vegasmic catering our festival! Cactus Kitchen Gals do super tasty vegan junk food which is the perfect festival-fuel! Vegasmic will be selling delicious vegan sweets and treats! Our feminist marketplace was a huge hit last year so we decided to do it all over again! The marketplace is held in the courtyard of the venue and is made up of stallholders selling artwork, illustrations and creations and community organisations and activist groups. We also have DJ sets outside throughout the day to give a real festival vibe.

Finally, as we’re a new music focused site, are there any particular new bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
Some of our favourite bands that you’ve not already mentioned include Sit Down (YES! We LOVE them!), who are a Brighton-based garage-punk two piece whose frontwoman is also their drummer, she is a force to be reckoned with! We’re also HUGE fans of The Nyx, The Menstrual Cramps, Bloom, Jellie Rolls, The Great Malarkey and CLT DRP among SO many more. We could keep going forever…

Huge thanks to FemRock for answering our questions! 

Femrock’s second annual female-fronted festival returns to Brighton on Saturday 30th June at The Green Door Store. There’ll 10 female-fronted bands, 2 vegan food stalls, a Feminist Marketplace full of creatives and activists and outdoor DJ sets throughout the day. Ticket info here.

Full FemRock line-up:

The Baby Seals
Sit Down
Militant Girlfriend
Bitch Theme
Hussy
Charmpit
Hexmaze
Suburban Death Twitch
Gullsband
Quim Smashers

 

VIDEO PREMIERE: The Nyx – ‘Keep It Candid’ (Margo’s Living Room, Special Edition)

We’ve made no secret of our love for The Nyx here at GIHEs, so we’re excited to be premiering an exclusive video for their new track ‘Keep It Candid’. Shot in Margo’s Living Room by John Clay at Hermitage Works, the footage shows the band doing what they do best – losing themselves in a cacophony of their own sound.

The Nyx will be playing for Who Run The World at The Victoria on 17th May, alongside Bugeye, Pussyliquor & Militant Girlfriend (RSVP here). Make sure you head down to see the live fury of these ‘Fire Breathing Ladies’ and check out their video for ‘Keep It Candid’ below.

Follow The Nyx on Facebook for more updates.

You can watch more videos by The Nyx on Clark Kent’s Rock and Roll Revue (subscribe not to miss a thing).

Photo Credit: Keira-Anee Photography

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Get In Her Ears Live @ The Finsbury w/ Witch Fever, 12.01.18

Following a host of super amazing bands playing for us over the last year – including The Magnettes, H.Grimace, REWS, Trash Kit, Temples Of Youth and Deux Furieuses – we were back at The Finsbury on Friday night for our first gig of 2018 for an immense line up of the best new music.

Kicking off the night are South London based Militant Girlfriend, delivering their completely gorgeous pop-punk sounds and infectious charm.

Next up are Brighton duo ARXX. Blowing us all away with their raw, grunge-fuelled energy, they treat us to a fantastically powerful set filled with racing beats and seething, gritty vocals; all delivered with glittery finesse. A new favourite band, for sure.

Their second time playing for us, The Nyx fill the packed out venue with their electrifying energy and fierce ferocity, blasting out all the riotous riffs and raw, emotion-strewn passion you could ever desire. Delivering old favourites as well as some of their new, full-moon releases, they’re an exceptional, empowering force to be reckoned with.

Headlining, we’re privileged to have Manchester’s Witch Fever, who’ve made two six hour coach journeys – here and back – to be with us. With a truly immense power, they end the night with their frenzied, raucous offerings. As thrashing beats race, front woman Amy’s incredible, snarling energy steals the show, and we’re all left completely in awe of this band’s formidable intensity.

Another night of incredible live music from some of the best new bands. In the words of The Nyx’s Becky Wixon, “let’s make 2018 the year of the woman“!

Catch us next month, 9th February, when LIINES will be headlining for us.

 

Photo Credit: Jon Mo / @jonmophoto

Words: Mari Lane / @marimindles