Saturday, 25 August 2007



When Huggy Bear appeared on The Word performing this song it was a high water mark for not only the Riot Grrrl movement but also DIY punk rock and independent music in general. Here was a band that managed to break into the mainstream via the backdoor down to reputation and ferocity as opposed to career ambitions and shilling. The entire point of their appearance and performance was to penetrate the arseholes and convey a message that things can be different, you can (and have to) be angry rather than accept all that is offered, given and shoved down your throat. It was a victory on many levels and as they found themselves being removed from the studio (as the story goes) they were anything but victims.

If I’m being honest I don’t think I really fully understood Huggy Bear or the Riot Grrrl movement when they were in existence, I guess being male I didn’t feel entitled. Additionally at the time their records were pretty rare and tough to get hold of in small town Essex. They screamed of a “Boy-Girl Revolution” in a manner that was probably too blunt for the locals to go anywhere near. A few years later Bis would incorporate much of the message and present it in a much more cuddly manner via their own “Teen-c Revolution” which also sadly found itself being slammed down by many corners and powers that be (although many more doors did open themselves for Bis as a result). At the end of the day it’s all gravy.

For me there was always more bite to this band than there was Bikini Kill. The scratchy lo-fi element to their sound appeared to contain more edge than their slightly grunge leaning American counterparts. Quite frankly the band sounds terrifying, bordering on deranged with a scary display of focused passion not necessarily content with the status quo and accepted social conventions.

With “Her Jazz” the distorted guitar at times sounds like a trumpet being played through shards of glass as its jagged delivery matches that of the vocalists. This is a heart thumping single, exhilarating to anyone feeling repressed and aching for change.

Thesaurus moment: perpetual.

Huggy Bear

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