“This is what debauchery sounds like.”
Guillotine Riot is a new punk band, from New York, NY, that I recently stumbled upon. They play raunchy punk rock, or “porno punk”, laced with feminist attitude that sounds like the late, great Betty Blowtorch mixed with riot grrrl pioneers Bikini Kill. Hell, they even cover my favorite Betty Blowtorch song (“Love/Hate”) on their full-length debut, Fuck It (2014). Great cover, right?
Guillotine Riot is Christa on vocals, Australian-born Freya on bass – wait, what? A female bass player from Australia whose first name ends with an “a”? Awesome! Anyway, the band’s line-up is completed by Colombian-born Alberto on drums and SoCal-born John on guitar. The band’s mission is to spread their “Gospel of Sexual Debauchery”, and, after listening to Fuck It [which was recorded “so you can fuck to it“], I am now one of their disciples! Guillotine Riot‘s “porno punk”, which was previously introduced on The Violent Sex E.P. (2012), is sexy, dirty, sometimes angry, and always tuneful. Fuck It, by the way, was produced by Steve Albini, who has produced bands such as Nirvana [In Utero (1993)], Pixies, The Breeders, etc.
Fuck It opens with “Take Off Your Pants” [perfect for a split-single with Betty Blowtorch‘s “Shut Up And Fuck”, 10 years too late] in which Christa demands, with her jumpy vocals: “Your pants, your pants /Take off your pants / I wanna get in your pants!” But, she adds: “Wait! Not fucking yet.” She wants you to know that she’s in control. Her libido, which “is never low,” is also explored more in “Dirty Talk” and “Eat, F#ck, Howl”, but, Christa draws a line between being slutty and being sexually independent. “My body’s not an open invitation / I’m not giving you the slightest provocation,” she snarls in “Don’t Call Me a Slut”, one of Fuck It‘s best tracks. Her lyrics echoe Tairrie B‘s more explicit declaration: “My pussy, my choice!” (from Manhole‘s “Put Your Head Out”). But, it’s not all just sex and feminism, there’s zombies and revenge, too! In “Zombie From NJ”, Christa wakes up after having “caught zombie” and, quickly, realizes that “it’s so fucking fucked up!” And, in “I Know Where You Live” [perfect for a split-single with Betty Blowtorch‘s “I Hope You Die”], she plots her ex-lover’s demise, with gleefully psychotic joy: “I wanna, I wanna, I wanna erase you / And now I’m comin’ to get you!” I love the evil chuckle after each chorus!
Fuck It closes with 3 covers: “Love/Hate” (Betty Blowtorch), “Miss World” (Hole), and “Bad Romance” (Lady GaGa). “Love/Hate”, if you’ve read my previous posts on Betty Blowtorch and/or Blare N. Bitch, is the best song Courtney Love never wrote, so Guillotine Riot kind of covered 2 Hole songs. “Bad Romance” was previously covered by my favorite female-fronted hard rock band Halestorm, but, Guillotine Riot adds a punk flair. All 3 covers are good, but, this band’s originals are much better! I would love to see Guillotine Riot live if they ever come to Cleveland, OH, but, I’m sure I’ll need to shower afterwards, or smoke a cigarette.
Watch Guillotine Riot perform “I Know Where You Live” live here …
Note: The bass player in the video above is not Freya. It’s a guy. Freya is a girl. Not a guy.