The Julie Ruin Hit Reset
Published Jul 08, 2016Hit Reset, Kathleen Hanna's latest effort as a member of the Julie Ruin, is an incredibly personal and passionate follow-up to 2013's Run Fast. Joined once again by long-time collaborator Kathi Wilcox on bass, drummer Carmine Covelli, Kenny Mellman on keys and guitarist Sara Landeau, this album is refined and full of danceable pizzazz.
Opting for lively melodies and animated guitar riffs, many of the songs on Hit Reset are characterized by a sense of childlike enthusiasm. Between the handclaps in the bridge of the appropriately celestial-sounding "Planet You" and the fuzzy guitar and Fisher Price-like keyboard ditty on "Let Me Go," the tracks have an endearing disposition.
This is not to be mistaken with any level of immaturity, though; the eponymous album opener confronts Hanna's abusive, alcoholic father, while "I'm Done" calls out those "writing dumb comments on an Internet thread." When Hanna declares "I'm sick of waiting around to be heard!" you can practically feel your blood boil, too.
The I-don't-give-a-fuck attitude that has always been present in Hanna's work is still here, but it takes on a slightly different form here. Where the former Bikini Kill and Le Tigre singer once took on feminist issues from a political point of view, she now sings of abuse and violence from a more personal perspective. Closing ballad "Calverton" is the best example of this vulnerability: the only sonically stripped-down album track, Hanna's vocals are delicate and potent here as she pays homage to her feminist mother. "You made me think that I could fly," she sings, at once heartbreaking and empowering.
In the latter half of Hanna's 2013 documentary The Punk Singer, the Riot Grrrl icon detailed a difficult battle with Lyme disease as she attempted to revive her 1997 project, Julie Ruin. With Hit Reset, Hanna combats the best way she knows how: with perennial punk spirit. (Hardly Art)