TN_400x400Review by Katherine Stewart

GUTTFULL, ‘queercore sax punks’ from London, released their debut album Tits and Nails this November.  Made up of Momoe Tasker (vocals), Cassie Fox (guitar and songwriting), Gemma Gompertz (bass), Phil Whaite (saxophone), Louis Richardson (drums), and described as the rightful heir to X-Ray Spex’s crown, GUTTFULL has become known for its no-nonsense feminism and riot-grrrly fury.

If Tasker’s vocals and Fox’s lyrics steal the spotlight in this review, it’s because they steal the spotlight in every song on the album – although Waite’s saxophone solos do provide fierce competition.

Tits and Nails opens with its eponymous track, luring you in with a school-yard chant of ‘cat call, rat call, step outside, it’s a bitch fight, bitch fight, tits and nails’. Hearing Tasker bark and howl is at once funny and unnerving – ‘yeah I’m a bitch and I fight like a dog’ is not something a polite young lady says. But that’s the point. GUTTFULL’s had a gut full of our socially-prescribed gender norms and they’re not having any of it anymore.

Does Your Girlfriend Know You’re Here? is a stand-out track – for its groove, Whaite’s brilliant saxophone riffs and hilariously self-aware lyrics; not to mention the plot twist in the second bridge. It’s a brilliantly constructed song.

Messy is a tense number full of distortion and rage on the theme of domestic violence.  The verse lyrics leave you with an uneasy sense of foreboding. When Tasker screams ‘you hit me, I’ll hit you fucking harder’, you absolutely believe it. ‘What a mess’?  It’s quite the understatement.

Arsehole, so-called ‘ode to Donald Trump’, is a much lighter affair. The chorus is viciously funny (it verges on being an extended your-mum joke) with Tasker’s voice whipping up to high notes or snarling and growling at will. It’s a romp and no doubt goes down well live.

From #notallmen’s clever attack on red-pill types to My Culture’s Not a Costume’s take-down of white privilege and cultural appropriation/insensitivity; from Gaslighting MF’s eerily familiar fury at being questioned and patronised and confused to The Power’s exploration of Naomi Alderman’s novel of the same name; from Keyboard Warrior’s repost to sexist online trolls to Boy’s nod to #metoo and That’s What He Said’s switched up gender roles – there is no excess fat on this album.  Every song takes on an issue; there is no filler.

The album closes with White Man’s Had His Day, a pretty, acapella song.  It’s strange to hear ‘I’m fired up, I’m ready to go’ proclaimed in such a lullaby-like style but it’s a beautiful album-closer nonetheless and offers a side to the band not previously heard – a softer, more hopeful side, perhaps.

An irrepressible sense of fun runs through Tits and Nails, in spite of everything its lyrics address.  GUTTFULL has created a brilliant and uncompromising summation of the trials of being ‘other’ in 2018 and they’re ready to shout down their oppressors – with wit and with groove.


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Guttfull’s debut album ‘Tits and Nails’ is out now on Loud Women records. The album can be ordered from Bandcamp.

Catch Guttfull live this Thursday 6 December at the Betsey Trotwood, London

 

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