Skinny Girl Diet - Heavy Flow (Fiasco Recordings)

Skinny Girl Diet – Heavy Flow (Fiasco Recordings)

The name Skinny Girl Diet is a social commentary on the slim-fast culture we live in; we want to take over the web results when you google the diet so hopefully anyone that does sees a bunch of punk feminists instead.”

Drummer Ursula Holliday said this of the band’s name earlier this year.  It’s a testament to Skinny Girl Diet’s boldness and their effort to inspire other women.  Ursula’s sister Delilah Holliday (vocals/guitar) and their cousin Amelia Cutler (bass) complete the trio who, since 2011, have risen out of the London live circuit as one of punk’s best and most uncompromising groups.  Championed by the likes of Viv Albertine, they’ve have been turning heads up and down the country.  After a prolific string of demos and EPs, their debut album Heavy Flow comes together as a ramshackle beauty.

From the first note, this is clearly going to be a no-holds-barred affair.  The tumbling attack of lead single ‘Yeti’ is a superb commentary on the demonisation of female sexuality.  Not to fall into the trap of shallow comparisons but the more laid-back ‘OK’ sounds like it could be taken straight off a Hole record.  The vocals are even uncannily alike Courtney Love’s as Delilah Holliday insists that no one should give up.  Elsewhere, ‘Eyes That Paralyse’ and ‘DMT’, initially featured on their self-titled EP (2013), have ditched their wide-eyed softly-sung approach and opted for perfectly-executed brutality.  Also reworked are ‘Silver Spoons’, ‘Fix Me’ and ‘Wasted Smile’ from last year’s Reclaim Your Life EP tackling subjects of the education system, class, and picking yourself up again.

Lyrically, it really takes anger, sadness, false hope and everyday put-downs by the teeth and shreds them up and relieves them.  The double meanings splintering the songs leave the listener with a pretty huge amount to think about.  For example, you know that feeling when someone is trying to make you into someone that you’re just not? ‘Pretty Song’ is exactly what you need to listen to.  On the surface of it, it’s a rejection of the ‘nice, pretty’ expectation of female expression (girls can’t be angry, right?), but morphs into a brilliant metaphor for anyone in a situation that entails banging their head against a wall, as Delilah Holliday repeatedly shrieks “I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY”.

‘Comedown In’ and ‘Comedown Out’ thoughtfully bookend the record.  There are no surprises here.  This is like The Best of Skinny Girl Diet.  Heavy Flow is pure venting of frustrations against an unjust world through a perspective that is barely represented in our media: young punk feminists of colour who have had enough.  Pissed off female voices will always have their place in music, at least as long as the current state of things continues.

Lo-fi scuzzy production, unpolished vocals, fearless honesty: this is exactly the sort of thing teenage girls and young women need to tell them that they can do it too.  This band is totally from the gut, the heart, the soul, the mind.  Standing for intersectional feminism and a right to be heard, Skinny Girl Diet are only going to become more relevant and more potent.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.