Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Grrrl Gang: Here to Stay! [Damnably, 2020]
Although they sing solely in English, these three college kids are from Yogyakarta, a city of half a million that's the capital of a monarchist subdivision of Indonesia. Breaking down two female and one male, they're more Vaselines than Bikini Kill musically, and though they date back to 2016, this compilation EP collects only eight songs, with the opening "Dreamgrrrl (Single Version)" transformed into the closing "Dreamgrrrl (Album Version)" solely by punchier production. None of which renders them an iota less charming or militant, a synthesis achieved most confoundingly on a seven-line ditty that begins "My baby is taking a shit/In the bathroom." On "Thrills," lead singer Angeeta Setana calls her one-night fuck "Daddy" as he wraps his hands around her neck, and in "Guys Don't Read Sylvia Plath" she declares and then repeats that she "wasn't born to be a mother" or "a wife." I believe her both times. On his "Night Terrors" feature, bassist-manager Akbar Rumandung wishes his shrink would do more for his night fears than feed him pills. I believe him too. A-