by kris smith
Elsewhere on the album ‘This Isn’t What You Expected’ tackles domestic politics; ‘Lying Cheatin’ Fucking Scumbag’ is a swearier-Tuts style synopsis of a bad date; ‘Make Girls Feel Good’ addresses body positivity; and ‘Frack Off’ is partly self-explanatory but deals with wider green topics too. There are no po-faced rants here, just a self-aware selection of broadsides complete with an illiberal amount of swearing and humour, particularly in the case of ‘Hashtag Sad Penis’ with its laugh-out-loud lyrics.
Other album highlights include ‘Mansplain’, which deals with internet trolls, and like The Wimmins Institute‘s similarly-titled ‘Mansplaining‘ and GUTTFULL’s ‘Keyboard Warrior‘ is a direct response to real life discourse – in this case the reaction to the Menstruals’ first video ‘My Bush Ain’t Ur Business‘ which saw it banned by Youtube. Better still is ‘Another Sesh’ which has the album’s best lyric and demonstrates once again the band’s charming gift for earworming melody and harmony present throughout this album, raising it above punk-by-numbers and ensuring that even the simplest of songs here have a memorable and irresistible singalong quality. Album closer is ‘JC Our Saviour’, a rare paean to Jeremy Corbyn’s ongoing stance against the politics of Austerity.
As with any grrrl band of note, from Slits to Bikini Kill to Tuts, we could speculate where the Menstrual Cramps get their exact style and influences from or we can instead accept the result as the natural sound of a new group of young, angry musicians playing together in a room, right here and now. In this way, punk regenerates itself. Menstrual Cramps have produced a supremely listenable and politically-engaged debut album – and our hunch is that they have barely even begun.