Instead, she hears the voice of someone she can relate to. Whose thoughts and demands are very much about the now. Luckily, Bikini Kill is back when it seems like we need it most: the entirety of their catalogue is now on streaming.
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I n their heyday, Bikini Kill — reunited and on stage in the UK after 23 years — were more than just a punk band. But Bikini Kill rocked, too, making for a tight four-piece, reminiscent of Washington DC hardcore legends Minor Threat fronted by Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex : loud and fast, sarcastic and confrontational, equal parts burning sincerity and goofy charm. The first of two nights in this large south London venue, bigger than any they ever played in their first incarnation, retains all those hallmarks. It swiftly rises to a holler.
B ikini Kill never intended to reunite. In that room, Vail witnessed a group often erased from the punk canon writing their own history. The riot grrrl movement, founded by a coterie of like-minded bands and zine-makers nationwide, was about reclaiming a girlhood spoiled by misogyny. Life in the band was tough.
When Bikini Kill took the stage at a packed Palladium in Hollywood on April 25, the band reclaimed a podium it had left 22 years earlier. For others, including myself, it was a jolt back to a defining moment in our lives. Time accordioned, and I realized: Bikini Kill is as vital as I remembered.
Their legend status has only become more crystal clear in the past few years, as we've entered a spell of post-Trump Riot Grrrl fever, and young people look to the past for protest music that speaks to their anger and anxieties. It was fitting when Bikini Kill announced early in that they'd be reuniting. Last week, they played their first show in 22 years in Los Angeles and last night, they played the seventh stop on their tour in Brooklyn at King's Theatre. The word on the street is that, of course, they still shred, they're still magnificent, and they still have lot to say about Trump, feminism, aging and everything else.