Various Grlz

This is a solid compilation that highlights some of the obvious and not so obvious female artists stemming out of the punk and post-punk eras. This is in part a tribute to the women who stood out in male-dominated scenes and destroyed the clichés surrounding those times, but it is also a highlight of the artists who kick started feminist attitudes. Cleverly, however, this compilation steers clear of dragging all the politics along with it and celebrates some of the best songs to come out of the underground of the late ’70s and early ’80s. Grlz begins back in 1981 with Maximum Joy’s "Stretch,” a funk-infused classic that sounds like a marriage between X-Ray Spex and Gang of Four. Also here is the seminal Rip, Rig and Panic with their sensuously unruly "Storm the Reality Asylum” and "Sunken Love.” And of course, there are mandatory appearances here by the Slits, New Age Steppers, Delta 5 and Bow Wow Wow. This is a perfect mix of well-loved classics and priceless obscurities. These 12 tracks not only show off some of the greatest female-driven music of the ’70s and ’80s, but some of the greatest music altogether. (Crippled Dick Hot Wax!)