HELLBOUND HONEYS VOLUME 1 - Various Artists (Off the Hip)
Back in my increasingly distant suburban high school days there was a regular procession of tough kids who arrived after being kicked out of a neighbouring school, usually for some act of violent insubordination or other anti-establishment behaviour.
The gender split was pretty even; in fact, many of the females who came through caused more of a ripple than the males. I often wonder what happened to many of these ephemeral students; many of them settled down to suburban domesticity, some morphed into high achieving tertiary students and some definitely ended up in gaol.
I don’t know how many decided to form a rock’n’roll band, but if they did they’d certainly justify a spot in Off the Hip’s long-awaited "Hellbound Honeys" girl garage compilation.
"Hellbound Honeys" naturally evokes the memories of the classic "Girls in the Garage "compilations of 60s girl garage acts. A noticeable difference is the geographical spread of the acts, comprising Argentinian (Las Curvettes), Spanish (Thee Girlfriends), Germany (The Cherry Pops), UK (The Dirty Buds), Australian (Melbourne’s own Shimmys and Sydney band The Booby Traps) and the obligatory American reps, Thee Minks (what it is about garage bands and mediaeval spelling?).
It’s tempting to try and identify subtle cultural variations in the different acts – Las Curvettes exude a brazen South American sex appeal, while The Booby Traps and The Shimmys are full of surf-fuelled hedonistic attitude, The Dirty Buds suggest a confrontational element consistent with the UK class system, Thee Girlfriends sound like they’d party all night like Iberian garage maniacs, Thee Girlfriends are as disciplined as you’d expect and Thee Minks, well, they’re in your face quicker than a mad patriot when you wave your Bic lighter in front of his prized Stars and Bars.
Whatever the geo-cultural variations, or the post-structural deconstruction of the girl garage genre, this is a compilation to get everyone – independent of race, creed, colour and gender – on the floor and dancing. Roll on Volume 2. - Patrick Emery
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