Cougar Party Heartbreakers/Homewreckers

Something about a woman's guttural holler just sounds more righteous, and from the opening strains of Cougar Party's debut, you know that righteousness is in store. Vocalist/drummer Shannon G is equipped with pipes and arms of steel, and her scream blazes a trail of hellfire throughout the ten songs featured here. The music is punk-inspired hardcore that could be the soundtrack to a house burning down, with damning guitars and pummelling beats. The sound is stripped-down and menacing, rougher in its rawness than it would be with slick production or corny riffage. Cougar Party play straightforward aggressive rock, and avoid stereotypes that might otherwise threaten to extinguish the flame. Emotions (granted though, anger mostly pervades) are genuine. They don't cop out by playing up their novelty as a "girl band" — while some female musicians rely on stereotypical ideas of female aggression, Cougar Party are simply aggressive. When they sing about sex, it's to burn lovers who refuse to go down on them, and when they sing about hate, it's with a sense of humour as well as some real conviction, rather than a put-on in order to make an image. They are real, charming, and scalding; whether they're telling off dickheads who doubt their legitimacy as hardcore musicians because of their gender, or just feeling sad (no lousy metaphors — an "I feel sad" works just fine for CP), you believe them. (Independent)