On G-F-S-U (Girls Fucking Shit Up), Lolita Storm proves beyond any reasonable doubt that Brighton rocks, albeit with a little help from Berlin -- in the shape of Atari Teenage Riot's Alec Empire at the mixing desk.
The three-girls-out-front-and-a-guy-at-the-back formation has long been a textbook staple of rock. However, the Lolita Storm version tears up that old cliche, sets it on fire and then throws up on it. Jimmy Too-Bad brings the noise while the female vocalists -- Spex, Nhung Napalm and Romy Medina -- go at it like amphetamine-addled, punk rock cheerleaders from the St. Trinians class of 2000.
Released through Digital Hardcore's Fatal subsidiary, G-F-S-U is a 15-track, 26-minute exercise in vintage punk attitude -- remarkable since the band members aren't old enough to remember 1977 -- set to the accompaniment of post-millennial noise terror.
Musically -- although the word can't really be used in this context -- Lolita Storm cover familiar Digital Hardcore ground with their (s)mashed-up auto pile-up beats and pneumatic drill aesthetic. In places, the cacophony is such that it makes some of ATR's 60 Second Wipe Out sound almost like well-produced easy-listening. In other words, quite brilliant.
Lyrically, Lolita Storm articulates a feminist sensibility of sorts. On one level, they seem concerned simply with being as obnoxious, loud, and puerile as pubescent boys and singing about wanking or scoring a knee-trembler in the bog -- e.g. "Hot Lips-Wet Pants" and "You Make Me High (When You Go Down Low)." At the same time, they're locked into an abject relationship with the male of the species, telling the listener how much guys suck -- "Run Baby Run (Cos I've Gotta Gun)" -- but also how they "luv" them really -- "(I Wanna) Meat Injection."
Still, the overall effect of G-F-S-U seems to be at odds with the rationale behind Fatal. The label was set up by Atari Teenage Riot's Hanin Elias "to give young girls and women an alternative to the typical MTV cliches" -- so the press release goes -- and to provide a space for women in the Techno boys' club to develop their own "directional style and identities." While that sounds great in theory, it has to be said that the women of Lolita Storm perform a caricatured identity which is no less stereotypical than the models of femininity currently available in the mass media. We've certainly seen sexed-up brattiness before, and it seems like the sort of one-line-joke image of rebelliousness that "the System" can accommodate quite comfortably.
Lolita Storm's bubblegum 'n' hardcore hybrid of Bow Wow Wow, the Slits, Bikini Kill and Huggy Bear is undeniably compelling and immensely funny. Whether this is authentic riot grrrl power for the digital hardcore age or simply cartoon feminism -- that's really no different from the Spice Girls -- is another matter.