Yeah, it’s a band with a pedigree: Kathleen Hanna and Kathi Wilcox (Bikini Kill) have reunited for their second band’s second album, Hit Reset, and damn is it good. Not since Alanis Morrisette have I heard such an excellent song of a woman telling a man how to fuck off. “You might be a born eyewitness to pain I just need to coexist with, but I’ll decide.” But then later on “Calverton,” the band shows a soft side: “You…Made me think that I could fly…” It’s the soft ending to a hard album full of thrashing, blazing guitars and lyrics that are almost too smart to be songs. Almost. “Let Me Go,” is the least experimental and that makes sense. It’s an extended plea for emotional freedom with fuzzy guitar behind a doo-wop beat. The song proves The Julie Ruin can do “normal” music—but they don’t seem to care if you got the message, because they go right from there into a strong pro-feminist song, “Mr. So and So,” that condemns men who claim to like strong women.
This is a women’s studies album through and through. If you’re a thin-skinned white male, don’t listen. If you’re a chauvanist, really don’t listen. But if you’re into powerful grrl rock like Joan Jett, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sleater Kinney, or, of course, Bikini Kill, this should be right up your alley. I loved it.