Guerrilla Girls! She-Punks and Beyond 1975-2016.

Label: Ace Records.

Format: CD.

Eclectic describes the twenty-five tracks on Ace Records new compilation Guerrilla Girls! She-Punks and Beyond 1975-2016. This carefully curated compilation features everything from mid-seventies punk pioneers to leftfield post-punk groups, jangly female pop combos grunge bands and vigilante Riot Grrrl groups of the eighties and nineties right through to the she-punk bands that made their presence felt in recent years.

Nowadays, the artists and bands on the compilation are regarded as musical trailblazers, who over the last five decades, have become part of musical history and have provided a refreshing alternative to tradition male-dominated, macho rock music. They were determined to do things their way, and the result was groundbreaking music that continues to influence a new generation of musicians.

Opening Guerrilla Girls! She-Punks and Beyond 1975-2016 is Gloria: In Excelsis Deo / Gloria (Version) by Patti Smith. She covered the Van Morrison classic for her 1975 debut album Horses, which was produced by John Cale.  innovative describes this reworking of a familiar and much-loved track. It’s totally transformed and taken in a new direction by one of the pioneers of the punk movement. Forty-eight years later and this favourite of fans and DJs is regarded as a genre classic.

Iama Poseur featured on X-Ray Spex’s 1978 album Germfree Adolescents. Vocalist and songwriter and founder member Poly Styrene was inspired by the Sex Pistols and The Clash to form a punk band. By 1978, they had signed to Virgin Records and released the album Germfree Adolescents. It featured Iama Poseur, which was also on the B-Side of the group’s sophomore single The Day The World Turned Day-Glo. It’s melodic,  memorable and driving slice of British punk that’s edgy and a mixture of defiance and energy.

I Didn’t Have The Nerve To Say No is a track from Blondie’s 1977 critically acclaimed sophomore album. The group’s breakthrough album was produced by Mike Chapman and featured everything from pop, punk and rock to disco and new wave. This genre-melting, anthemic track showcases a group who would become one of the most successful of the late-seventies and early eighties.

In 1979, post punk group The Raincoats released their eponymous debut album on Rough Trade Records. The album was a mixture of avant-garde, new wave and post punk. This is no surprise given the group featured two former art students and avant-garde and classically trained musicians. They showcase their combined talents on You’re A Million which is full of social comment and is without doubt, one of the highlights of the album.

After seeing the Sex Pistols in Manchester, graphic design student Linder Sterling threw themselves into the city’s punk scene. By 1978, he had formed his own group Ludus. Three years later, in 1980, the group released their sophomore album The Seduction. The album was a mixture of disparate musical genres. This included art rock, electronic, free jazz, pop and rock. However, My Cherry Is In Sherry is a catchy jangling three minute pop song.

Nowadays, The Slits are regarded as the UK’s most important and influential female punk band. Earthbeat is taken from the group’s 1981 album The Return Of The Giant Slits. It’s a reminder of this groundbreaking group at the peak of their powers and a welcome addition to the compilation.

Originally, The Bangles were part of LA’s Paisley underground scene,  and called The Colours. They then became The Supersonic Bangs. This was shortened to The Bangs before the group settled on the name they found fame as. However, by 1981 they released the instrumental Bitchen Summer (Speedway) on the compilation Rodney On The ROQ Vol. III in 1981. It shows a very different side to the band who later, would enjoy hits with Manic Monday and Eternal Flame.

It’s About Time featured on The Pandoras’ 1984 eponymous EP and their album It’s About Time. It’s a mixture of jangle pop and garage rock from a group who when they were formed in 1982 had the potential to become one of the biggest groups of the eighties. However, changes in the lineup meant that the group never fulfilled their early potential. 

Her Jazz by Huggy Bear was released in 1983 and showcases the early UK Riot Grrrl sound. There’s elements of punk, lo-fi and new wave in this memorable and influential track.

Bratmobile emerged from Olympia’s DIY scene. However, it wasn’t until 1991 that the group’s lineup took shape. Over the next few years they released several singles and three albums. This included their swansong Girls Get Busy in 2002. It features What’s Wrong With You which is a captivating mixture of the Riot Grrrl sound, indie rock and punk.

Closing Guerrilla Girls! She-Punks and Beyond 1975-2016 is Skinny Girl Diet by Silver Spoons. It first featured on their 2015 EP Reclaim Your Life and then the Heavy Flow album. The London-based group successfully combine feminism with elements alt-rock, grunge, punk and the Riot Grrrl on what unquestionably one of their finest songs.

Guerrilla Girls! She-Punks and Beyond 1975-2016 features twenty-five groundbreaking groups and artists who wrote their way into musical history over a forty-one year period. These female groups and artists were all pioneers and at the forefront of various new musical movements.

Many were willing to do things their way and in doing so, sacrificed a chance to enjoy commercial success and critical acclaim. Sometimes this was when it almost within their grasp. However, they weren’t willing to be packaged and presented the way their label wanted. They weren’t willing to play the corporate game or sacrifice their principles.

Some of these groups eventually made the breakthrough that their music deserved. It just took a bit longer. However, it was worth it as they hadn’t sacrificed their principles on the altar of commerciality. They could look themselves in the mirror and say they did things their way as they enjoyed the fruits of their labour.

Sadly, other groups on the compilation never enjoyed even a fleeting taste of commercial success. It passed them by and for them the dream was over. However, at least they had tried. Better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all.

For these groups the singles and albums they released are in their past. Back then, they dreamt of enjoying a long and successful career in music. However, a dream was all it was, and for them, the past is another country. That, however, is no longer the case.

They’re among the tracks that feature on Guerrilla Girls! She-Punks and Beyond 1975-2016. This carefully curated compilation of eclectic music features a mixture of familiar faces and what will be new names to many people. These groundbreaking Guerrilla Girls and She-Punks have one thing in common. They’re all musical pioneers who showcased a variety of disparate genres over the past five decades as they wrote their way into musical history.                                                                                                                                                   

Guerrilla Girls! She-Punks and Beyond 1975-2016.


  1. Looks like an amazing collection.

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