Kitten Forever! Photo by Claire de Lune.
Twin Cities musicians Corrie Harrigan, Laura Larson, and Liz Elton have been making music together for 10 years as the unvarnished punk band Kitten Forever. On their new album, 7 Hearts, the trio revels in making quintessential drum and bass punk.
7 Hearts, which came out this spring from Atlas Chair Records and is sold at Minneapolis-based progressive sex store Smitten Kitten, is full of dark, angsty lyrics. The album’s raw, stripped-down aura is part of its appeal.
The album opens with “All Day.” After a monotonous drumroll and the drone of a bass, Elton sings, “Mourn the loss of giving a shit/ two middle fingers to the world every morning/ bite back, bite through.” Like many tracks on the album, the song is short, repetitive, and catchy, pairing addictive bass lines with rapid drum patterns. Another standout track is “Cannon,” where Harrigan sings, “You say you got something to say/ so say it” and “burn your hands on the sun/ take it and run.”
Although the album is undoubtedly influenced in part by the sounds of early ‘90s riot grrrl, comparing 7 Hearts to Bikini Kill and Bratmobile is easy and oversimplified. Kitten Forever has a one-of-a-kind sound and politics. Jam-packed with catchy choruses, upbeat drum patterns, and undeniable politics of the personal, Kitten Forever’s 7 Hearts serves as a new spin on feminist punk. The record emphasizes the important theme of self-empowerment—and is a refreshing twist on the often sugarcoated and commoditized, amorphous term. On “Hail Mary,” over a heavy bass line, Harrigan repeats lyrics like a battle call: “Take it/ it’s mine mine mine/ take it.”
While companies are pouring feminism through a sieve to create a watered-down, apolitical call to “empowerment,” Kitten Forever’s no-frills feminist punk should serve as a reference point for conversations about contemporary women-made music. 7 Hearts is indicative of a new interpretation of “girl power” and offers a new narrative for politically charged punk. Kitten Forever creates fun, fast-paced, and undeniably feminist punk.
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