Release Date: Jan 19, 2010
Record label: Captured Tracks
Genre(s): Rock, Punk
The aughts sadly weren't a great decade for women in rock. In the 1990s, women from Riot Grrrl to PJ Harvey made joyously raw, aggressive, and polemical rock, now a much-missed sound. That is what makes Wetdog-- a British all-woman trio whose sophomore effort celebrates their percussive, atonal foremothers like the Slits, the Raincoats, and LiLiPUT-- sound so fresh despite their obvious influences.
God bless Angular Records – the south London label that gave us [a]The Long Blondes[/a] and [a]These New Puritans[/a] are still putting out wiry post-punk records with an almost perverse emphasis on authenticity. It’s difficult to imagine a better home for [a]Wetdog[/a]. Their 2008 debut boasted 21 songs, suggesting that for this east London all-female trio even quality control represents some kind of lapse in artistic integrity.
Frauhaus! is like an itch you don’t want to scratch. For the album’s bite-sized 30-minute duration, London-based trio Wetdog jabs, plods, and stammers out some of the best jaunty female post-punk since The Slits or The Raincoats. And while its fair to say that Wetdog exist in the spirit of these pioneering groups, they’re not here to pay homage.
Released late last year in the U.K. on respected boutique label Angular (The Long Blondes and These New Puritans) and making its way to the U.S. via white-hot Brooklyn-based Captured Tracks, Frauhaus! is the second full-length in 18 months from the all-female London trio Wetdog. Arriving like an estrogen-fueled version of The Fall, the record is 14 tracks of short, angular punk outbursts.Opener and first single “Lower Leg” announces itself with a supernaturally tight bass line and a chorus that’s as obnoxious as it is catchy, a trick the ladies of Wetdog almost certainly learned from X-Ray Spex.
A still-new band with a ragged niche all to themselves. Mike Diver 2009 Wetdog are all scratch and sniff: guitars antagonising ear canals like itchy cuffs on pale skin, a stink like old liquor on joss sticks and the must that grows on jeans unwashed for a whole tour. The trio – from London but not, operating outside of contemporary convention by not playing EC1 dives thrice a week – released their debut long-player not 18 months ago, Enterprise Reversal lighting up the listening gear of a select few in the summer of 2008.