Track Review – I’ll Decide / The Julie Ruin

As if the Hardly Art label couldn’t get any better, they’ve signed The Julie Ruin. That adds the band to a roster including of Chastity Belt, Tacocat, Protomartyr and Colleen Green. The new single from the Julie Ruin dropped out of no-where, with little indication that the group were following up their 2014 debut Run Fast. It combines both of Kathleen Hanna’s infamous bands: Bikini Kill and Le Tigre. There’s a noisy bridge in which it sounds like somebody taking a guitar apart live on stage, but then there’s a danceable beat underneath it all, the infectious cries of ‘Na na na’ and a lightning-bolt synth fighting with the guitar throughout it all. It’s punk for an electronic generation and it’s utterly compelling.

You could say rap is the new punk, but this is one punk band that takes the coldness of electronic music and injects it with some fiery soul. The lyrics are exactly the kind of thing Hanna would have written in Bikini Kill or Le Tigre, firing out ‘He might say a combination of words I view with irritation, but I’ll decide’, calling out Hanna’s choice to decide whatever she likes, even when she’s faced with the choice to support or reject something, it’s her choice to do that, or even find another route altogether. The Julie Ruin just made one of the best tracks of the year so far, from their subversion of what to expect from punk whilst delivering a suitably fist-pumping message.