Double-cross their paths and you’d best watch your back. After a five-year hiatus, the surf ’n’ turf tension of Bratmobile’s vendetta rock is back and still making a party out of target practice. Like the Brats’ riot grrl reign nearly a decade ago, the trio’s victims — dumbshit boys and dimwit girls — will run far and fast, but there’s no evading Allison Wolfe when she spouts and shouts her sharp-tongued lashings. And with Erin Smith’s Ricky Wilson-worthy riffs and the ready-steady-go-go backbeat of Molly Neuman, Ladies, Women and Girls is the fierce ’n’ funny revenge-rock racket expected from this three-girl gang.
So fans looking for more of the same hit ’n’ run fun from the early ’90s won’t be disappointed: More than ever, the bicoastal band sounds like an Annette Funicello beach bash gone bad — largely due to the notable addition of keyboards and bass courtesy of the co-producing Jon Nikki. Be warned, though: The Brats spent their break in various other bands — Cold Cold Hearts, PeeChees et al. — fine-tuning their musical know-how. The result is a much-needed knock in the chops to today’s musical misogyny at the top of the pops. “Who’s gonna kick your ass?” Wolfe taunts. “I think it’s a girl!” Consider yourself warned.
Jimmy Draper writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.