Seattle's all-girl band Chastity Belt
(lead singer Julia Shapiro, rhythm guitarist Lydia Lund, bassist Annie Truscott and drummer Gretchen Grimm)
debuted with the short (29-minute) album No Regerts (Help Yourself, 2013).
Black Sail boasts the swagger of the
Velvet Underground and Shapiro's vocals
are reminiscent of
Nico's with soaring
Grace Slick-ian declamations.
The faster songs (in the tradition of Seattle's garage-rock),
notably the punk-rocking Healthy Punk and
the grotesque pow-wow dance Giant Vagina,
shout existential angst under the guise of party fervor.
Shapiro also fronted Childbirth, a trio with
Bree McKenna of Tacocat and Stacy Peck of Pony Time
that became famous for two sarcastic songs:
I Only Fucked You as a Joke, off
It's A Girl (Help Yourself, 2013),
and Nasty Grrls off Women's Rights (Suicide Squeeze, 2015).
Chastity Belt's Time to Go Home (2015) boasts the
stomping noisy hypnosis of Drone, the demonic
psychobilly The Thing, and the catchy
IDC (that borrows the melody from Dylan's Knocking on Heaven's Door).
The singer's and the band's limitations are painfully obvious in songs such
as Cool Slut where the music fails the provocative lyrics
and in songs like Joke and Time to Go Home
that don't even sound like songs.
The longer the song, the more painful the listening, hence the
six-minute On the Floor sounds like a really bad cover of an early
Jefferson Airplane psychedelic anthem.
Nothing stands out on
I Used To Spend So Much Time Alone (Hardly Art, 2017),
other than poor singing and poor playing.
Maybe they are trying to go pop, but they lack both inspiration and skills
for even the most basic of pop music, let alone for something original.
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