REVIEW: Skinny Girl Diet/Girlpool 14/11/14

Last night The Hope played host to a blistering show featuring emergent grunge-girl gang Skinny Girl Diet and Los Angeles duo Girlpool, supported by fellow Americans Eureka California and London pop/post-punks Witching Waves. Whilst all of the bands played impressive sets, the headliners undoubtedly stole the night.

As the days get shorter and shorter and DW tries to adapt to life post-uni (stuck in fluorescent offices and endless commutes), it has been easy to forget that there is more to life than métro boulot dodo. The bands featured on last night’s line-up provided a much-needed shot in the arm by way of very loud music. Skinny Girl Diet in particular felt like the musical equivalent of a defibrillator, in turns melodic, thrashy and anthemic, with a hypnotizing stony-faced stage presence. Their ferocious 21st century take on riot-grrrl and grunge was without pause as they unleased their unique and raw-sounding punk on the crowd.

SGD’s mix of sleek personal aesthetic and fuzzy, visceral punk is a refreshing addition to the UK music and fashion scene: girls who care about looking cool but aren’t afraid to sound angry. Hailed by The Slit’s Viv Albertine as “timeless” in Dazed and Confused earlier this year, the London-based teens are the kind of girl band we need more of.

Whilst LA duo Girlpool peddle a sound that is much sweeter on the surface, their songs are littered with biting lyrics and blood-curdling shrieks. The band infuse the more minimal elements of Riot Grrrl (Heaven’s to Betsy/Sleater Kinney-esque) with bluesy hooks, and the duo’s LA twang adds an endearingly kooky element to their live performance. Playing directly after SGD, the girls promptly unleashed single “Blah Blah Blah” on an audience who perhaps were ready to disperse, and immediately stopped them in their tracks. Their set continued in the same impressive vain, and upon unplugging their guitars the girls were barraged with calls for an encore. “This has never happened to us before!” they revealed before swapping guitars and playing one final song.

“Does it make you feel restless when you realise you’re alive?” Girlpool sweetly asked the crowd, managing to put into words an uncomfortable feeling DW have been feeling all too often recently, and an evening spent listening to such exciting music will certainly get your blood pumping again.

View Girlpool tour dates here

Get tickets to see Skinny Girl Diet tonight here

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