June 17, 2020

Emily's Sassy Lime - Desperate, Scared, But Social (1995)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Punk Rock
Style: Riot grrrl
Label Number: krs 254

© 1995 Kill Rock Stars
Review by "Emma" for Punk News.org
Emily's Sassy Lime (yes, that is a palindrome) formed in the early '90s in Southern California, inspired by a Bikini Kill and Bratmobile show they attended. Desperate, Scared, But Social was released in 1995, after they signed with Kill Rock Stars. Due to their high school circumstances, the band tended to have very little practice... and it's this that gives the band their signature garage-punk sound.

Desperate, Scared, But Social is a quick listen, made up of 16 songs, most of which don't exceed two minutes (with the exception of the last track, "Superior Threat"). The album is a little bit noise, a little bit punk, a little bit indie and a little bit riot grrrl. It's full of droning, abrasive vocals, ringing guitar riffs and interesting song titles (take, for example, "G.U.S.T.O. - The G Does" Not Stand for 'Geriatric'. The album itself is, really, a mix of all sorts of things. You get pop culture incorporated with sci-fi-esque noises in "Untitled" a prominent bass riff and slow tempo in "There's a Snake in the Steakhouse" a single drumbeat in the six second "Save the Drama for Your Mama" and what could certainly be a teenage music anthem in "Transistor No Way" (which is certainly one of the album's highlights).

The album is full of undercurrents of anger, boredom and pure experimentation. It's noisy, quick and rough, with vocals that bring to mind Kathleen Hanna and Allison Wolfe (the concert that inspired the band is definitely something tangible in their sound) -- but Desperate, Scared, But Social has a sound all of its own. The album has plenty of highlights, including "Transistor No Way" (as previously mentioned), "Cadillac Stinger" and "Kid's Stuff" It is, however, one of those albums that sounds better when listened to as a whole (with the volume turned up, naturally).

The album ends with the longest song (by far), "Superior Threat" It has a darker sound to it, and after a brief pause, fades into lengthy melodic noise, ending in a manner similar to how it opened. Desperate, Scared, But Social is not a technical masterpiece. It is not a well-rehearsed and well-produced album. It's creative, it's noisy and its memorable. It's an album from the '90s that is well deserving of a revisit: it has all the elements that makes for a riot grrrl staple.

tags: emilys sassy lime, desperate scared but social, 1995, flac,

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