The Julie Ruin Run Fast

The Julie RuinRun Fast
"I lied when I said I was done," revealed Kathleen Hanna in the 2013 documentary The Punk Singer. "Singing is my life and I have to do it or I'll go totally bananas." In the film about the '90s forerunner of the Riot Grrrl movement, we learned that the reason for Hanna's abrupt retirement from music was due to a long-undiagnosed case of Lyme disease. That seven-year interim saw the frontwoman of feminist punk innovators Bikini Kill and politically charged dance act Le Tigre exploring other hobbies for fear of never returning to music. Thankfully that wasn't the case. Run Fast is the Julie Ruin's debut; it's a continuation of a solo project started in 1997, and a much-welcomed return for Hanna. Tackling various subjects, Hanna delves into a personal place we seldom saw previously. Even through the heavier topics of illness and recovery, a melodic sense of dance carries the message, but what delivers the punch is Hanna's voice — that quintessential howl. When she wails, "Ha, ha, ha, ha, Armageddon," on "Ha Ha Ha," her words shake us. When she turns the dial to a saccharine serenade during "Just My Kind," you can feel the kindness she has for her husband, Beastie Boy Adam Horovitz. Hanna makes you feel; her voice is meant to evoke emotions. The all-star team of Wilcox, guitarist Sara Landeau, drummer Carmine Covelli and Kenny Mellman know exactly how to execute the crunchy riffs, bombastic organs and stomping beats that redefine the sounds of the past, bringing them into a crisp, new light. Music had a Kathleen Hanna-sized gap for seven years; she's our rebel girl, the queen of our world. (Dischord)