The Julie Ruin – Run Fast The Julie Ruin – Run Fast

The Julie Ruin - Run Fast (2013)

The Julie Ruin – Run Fast (2013)

Do you like Kathleen Hannah?

Think about that a second…it’s important.

Did you wrap your room like Christo in miles of unwound Bikini Kill cassettes in hopes that such strange intimacy with the object that codified the much-needed teenage riot would make YOU the Rebel Girl? Did you dance in earnest irony to Le Tigre, passing fancies and passion for blurts and bleats and third gender totality? Have you heard Kurt smells like teen spirit? What’s YOUR take on Cassevettes? Does the idiosyncratic rat bite squeal bolted to the border of tunelessness when not turned in to ape the dreaded baby girl coo as a proud act of feminine subterfuge work for you as a pop construct?

Oh, yeah? Because I don’t and I didn’t and though my heart holds Ms. Hannah as a coveted watermark in the Olympia revolution which took a hammer to the septuagenarian sac of the great rock and roll sausage fest and put grrrls and freaks right back front where they ought to be, I’ve never been such a fan of her delivery nor of the bands with which she’s been affiliated. They’ve always seemed rather smug to me, dismissive in their one-note approach. I can readily concede that this is just another instance of me “not getting it” or, perhaps more operatively, not really being anywhere in her target demographic.

And yet, I continue to check in on Ms. Hannah’s endeavors (if only to keep myself literate on the subject of cultural relevance) and so recently I’ve been spending some quality time with The Julie Ruin’s debut, Run Fast and you know what? It’s not half fucking bad. It does feel a bit lengthy at its thirteen tracks but the supporting cast (including old BK bandmate, Kathi Wilcox and Kenny Mellman who once played the role of Herb in the much-beloved queer cabaret curio, Kiki and Herb) do the snarky 90s retro rock hop (60s meets 80s meets punk meets blah) smartly enough to keep the effort from ever becoming an eye-rolling write off.

That is to say, there are some choice moments on Run Fast that might make you forget, for a moment, that this is another Kathleen Hannah band (though, seriously, not for very long at all). “Lookout” is tender, open and, contextually, reads like an informed and more uptempo response to the YYY’s beatific and anomalous “Maps” (“Goodnight Goodbye” is of a similar vein). “Stop Stop” is a dance punk party rager – a twirling fuck it all with hokey synth, “bahs” howls and all that threatens to come unhinged as Hannah rekindles the frustrated abandon of her youthful expressions. “Ha Ha Ha” is pretty good too but it really makes me yearn for the time when You Say Party! still employed the You Say Die!

That could, actually, be said of much of Run Fast though The Julie Ruin is far less taut, often coming close to falling into the too drunk to punk garage shambles of The Coathangers (who I pretty much adore and would marry in Hades if they could write one consistent record) but they’re versed enough to keep it together and retain a consistent sound. It’s not revolutionary but, whatever, right? No matter what I say nor whose playing, the fact remains that this is Kathleen Hannah’s new band. If you like her, you’ll like this record. Actually, you’ll probably love it like fuck and admonish me with a thousand postgraduate invectives for questioning her unfettered singularity. If you don’t or – heaven help you – don’t know her, you’ll think there’s a fair chunk of Run Fast that can pass for fun and that’s something.

Run Fast Tracklist:

01 – Oh Come On
02 – Ha Ha Ha
03 – Just My Kind
04 – Party City
05 – Cookie Rd.
06 – Lookout
07 – Right Home
08 – Kids In NY
09 – Goodnight Goodbye
10 – South Coast Plaza
11 – Girls Like Us
12 – Stop Stop
13 – Run Fast

The Julie Ruin - Run Fast, reviewed by Charles on 2013-09-11T03:41:28-07:00 rating 3.0 out of 5

Comments are closed.