Skinny Girl Diet/Ethical Debating Society, Split 7″ EP, HHBTM Records
When exactly did riot grrrl die again? Someone said it was in 1994, when it got too big and disillusioned. Some say it was when Bikini Kill broke up. Some say it was as soon as it began; a star too bright it obviously had to fade away. Why do things have to die? Can’t they rise and fall, hibernate for a few years and then re-emerge in a new form ready to fit into the time, culture and political landscape they find themselves in. In an age where Pussy Riot proudly declare themselves riot grrrls and the 90’s – and everything that came along with it including terrible comedy rap songs – is cool again, it is safe to say that riot grrrl is alive, fierce and focused on the road ahead.
Emerging from this ongoing but ever changing scene are Skinny Girl Diet and The Ethical Debating Society, two London-based punk outfits who have been wowing everyone that dares to watch them court the stage. We don’t know exactly how the two bands decided to get together but TGA assumes that they were both so impressed by each other and obviously aware that not many other bands around could match them, they would have to unite to show everyone else exactly how it’s done.
The single starts out with all girl teenage punk gang, Skinny Girl Diet and their track ‘DMT’ which sounds like a frantic tale of broken teenage friendships. That kind you only have at a certain age, when you’re so close you feel like one person but also, one person who you would slap the hell out of if they borrowed your mascara. ‘Homesick’ rushes on at lightening fast pace and you can tell the girls find the rush, noise, screaming and shouting all-consumingly cathartic. The mono toned vocals with a tinge of an American accent make the girls sound like the lovechild of downbeat rocker, Mary Timony and Queen of grunge herself, Courtney Love.
The Ethical Debating Society’s side of the single, ‘Child’s Play’ is a jittery riotous noise filled with cutting guitars and sneering vocals. ‘Creosote Ideas’ reminds us of an undiscovered Huggy Bear song complete with defiant girl/boy vocals. Pop is sometimes a dirty word in the alternative scene but you know what I’m gonna throw it out there; TEDS make great POP music and I’m not ashamed to say that. The catchy as hell riffs, melodies and lyrics that TEDS come together to make are some of the best pop songs, in my opinion. I’d much rather hear an over made up 17-year-old in a bad wig and too tight dress badly butcher this on a reality show than the usual crap they give them.
Ultimately, this single is a lively and riotous event that, coming in at just over 10 minutes long, gives a tiny glimpse of what both bands can offer. If you’ve been left with a gnawing, empty feeling in your stomach, that’s because you’re missing TEDS and SGD already. Now you have to go see them live.