Riot Grrrl: an underground feminist punk movement that originated in the early 1990s in Washington state.
In retrospect we tend to remember things slightly skewed from what they really were. For instance, you may remember a song being faster than it actually is or you may remember Smash Mouth not being all that bad. In actuality, hitting play reminds us we might be wrong. It is ok to be wrong, this is a safe space.
The explosive 90s Riot Grrl sound was, in fact, very poppy in much of its presence. But this is because of the pool they were in at the time. By the late 90s Riot Grrl became largely consumed by mainstream and forced back underground, left to only memories and misremembered aggression. Plainly put, ask yourself, did the Riot Grrrl sound really reach its full potential?
Write that down and check your answer once you’ve had a chance to explore the realm of Blood Lemon.
The Boise, Idaho trio of bassist/singer Melanie Radford (Marshall Poole) guitarist/singer Lisa Simpson (Finn Riggins) and percussionist Lindsey Lloyd (Tambalka) helm the controls of modern post-Riot Grrrl influenced sound and embody precisely what one would
The debut self-titled album rides in on a sneering distorted riff, lending way to lyrical opening (and setting the pace) of an echoed “Cut the heartstrings/Broke the wings off that red-headed songbird/Broke the knife at the hilt/Beat the chest ‘til every rib was bleeding/And all the ghosts were singing” as the sound of Blood Lemon stands tall on the ashes of naysayers burned to the ground by the likes of Kim Deal, The Runaways, Veruca Salt, and Kim Gordan, all while confidently stepping in a stride of gritty swagger pulsating with thick tones and heavy waves.
The dark tonality of Blood Lemon is anticipated with Radford’s contributions, yet the balance of Simpson and Lloyd swings masterful strokes lyrically and instrumentally making this a near-perfect trio. Even drawing on a subtle nod to their classically trained beginnings, laying down a visceral variation to Mussorgsky’s “The Old Castle,” Blood Lemon is a relentless demonstration of prowess and melodic precision under the guise of raw, heavy-handed rock ultimately culminating in what is sure to be looked back on by many as a must-have debut album; especially for fans of post-riot grrrl.
In all of its brilliance, the record confidently closes while picking up and carrying the Shirley Manson-like flag of haunting-beauty-with-a-purpose in “Leave The Gaslight On” (inspired by Greta Thunberg) while driving solid harmonies, expanding in the space they’ve proclaimed their own, and leaving us all, unabashedly, Blood Lemon fans.
Blood Lemon steps out onto the highway paved by their pacific northwest neighbors, fully wrapped their arms around it, and taken a stance with their debut record. The end result is a cathartic confidence to a political stance with body and presence without the glitz and glam, only a solid message and world-class musicianship. Blood Lemon is a debut record that skewers common-place generalizations of feminism and sonically shatters expectations. Find out for yourself April 23, 2021.