Chicago & New Haven Women's Liberation Rock Band and Le Tigre Papa, Don't Lay That Shit on Me

The Chicago and New Haven Women's Liberation Rock Bands formed in the early ’70s out of Second Wave feminist communities. Their intention was to counter all-male rock acts like the Rolling Stones with a feminist perspective. This album is a reissue of a 1972 split between the two Women's Liberation Rock Bands, with additional contributions and collaborations with feminist successors Le Tigre. The Women's Liberation bands tried to bridge the gap between rock'n'roll's ferocity and folk music's civility and social consciousness, while Le Tigre continues the tradition of balancing the accessible and the aggressive. Ultimately, the Women's Liberation Rock bands failed at their goal of reclaiming the power of rock'n'roll — their sound is more akin to that of Carly Simon than of the Rolling Stones. However, there are elements of rock and blues (though undermined by a heavy ’70s AM radio influence) and the music occasionally shines anyway. The New Haven band's "Sister-Witch" and "Abortion Song" are both beautiful funk/rock/folk hybrids. The music is primarily a vehicle for the lyrics, and passionate vocals, harmonies and driving beats mirror the fervency of the woman's liberation movement. This album is more of a cultural artefact than a Discman staple, and the sounds are made more empowering by the fact that they come from a time — pre-punk rock — where a woman's place in rock was generally that of a glorified fluffer. Though feminism (and pop music) has evolved since the ’70s, it's important to honour our predecessors. (Rounder)