Little Ugly Girls Are the Legendary Oz Punks You Never Heard About
Listen to the first single from the band's debut album, 20 years in the making.
A blank space in the Australian punk canon is finally about to be filled: Little Ugly Girls, the legendary Hobart riot grrrl band, are set to release their first ever album. First formed in the early nineties, Little Ugly Girls are forgotten heroes of Australian punk, a howling Tesla coil of energy that left a mark on the genre without ever releasing a full album. The quartet, made up of vocalist Linda Johnston, her brother Dannie Johnston on guitar, Brent Punshon on drums and bassist Mindy Mapp, played with icons like Fugazi, Bikini Kill and The White Stripes throughout the 90s and 2000s, but never released anything more than a few cassettes and a CD-R.
This August, Chapter Music will release Little Ugly Girls, a debut album that’s been in the works for over two decades. Built from skeleton demos first recorded in the nineties, the album was finally completed over the past few years. A dirty, raging piece of punk, Little Ugly Girls is an exhilarating record of crackling guitar and pummelling drums, all built around Linda’s gruff, caustic wail. It's an excellent record in its own right, but also a necessary corrective to the myth that the local punk canon was predominantly men.
Lead single “Tractor,” which we’re premiering today, puts Linda at the fore, her unhinged vocal performance moving from outright screams to a bridge teetering on the edge of spoken word performance. “‘Tractor’ is about a world of injustices perpetrated by misogynistic, homophobic, religious hypocritical lying bullies,” Linda says, “and the fantastic dream of a child reducing them to defenseless babies.” It’s wonderful, and you can listen below:
Little Ugly Girls is set to be released August 3rd via Chapter Music. Pre-order the record here.
This article originally appeared on Noisey AU.