Skinny Girl Diet’s album cover provides a blatant “screw you and get over it” statement. Delilah Holliday (Guitars and Vocals), Ursula Holliday (Drums and Vocals) and Amelia Cutler (Bass and Vocals) appear on the cover as glamorous vixens, unashamedly sporting red blood stains on their all-white outfits. Immediately addressing the taboos of female sexuality, the group highlight their no-holds-barred attitude which is instilled throughout Heavy Flow. Combining works from their previous EPs, Skinny Girl Diet, Girl Gang State of Mind and Reclaim Your Life, and with the addition of a couple of new extras, Skinny Girl Diet’s full-length debut is the perfect introduction for those unfamiliar with the trio’s work.
Featuring clanging percussion, frantic strings, sullied riffs and the odd deranged scream thrown in for good measure, Heavy Flow encapsulates a genuine punk ethos and sound. In Yeti, growling vocals and whirring instrumentals build to a frenzy, creating a hazy, crackly resonance which is reminiscent of groups such as Black Flag and Dead Kennedys. Okay takes the album to grungier depths, before hoarse harmonies, playful musicianship and a lo-fi fuzz make up Lazy Eye, an unconventional ode to an admirer.
Layered over Heavy Flow’s relentless instrumentals, Skinny Girl Diet’s lyrics are rebellious and powerful. Drawing attention to the group’s political core, Silver Spoons addresses the ideologies of power and privilege in the distorted state system, “Police corruption causing no government disruption.” In the current climate of racial politics and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement both in the US and here in the UK, Skinny Girl Diet’s lyricism is incredibly pertinent. Pretty Song is equally as effective, echoing “riot grrrl” wit to challenge stereotypical notions of femininity.
Heavy Flow essentially pieces together Skinny Girl Diet’s political musings, personal grievances and feminist commentaries. Still unsigned, the group’s debut release is an impressive unapologetic piece of work that honestly and directly challenges the structures of contemporary society. Though many people may think of punk as a genre of old, Skinny Girl Diet proves it’s still very much alive.
Words: Lois Browne