Let me start out by saying that if it takes ten years to get five perfect songs, I’m fine with that. Rather than feed Spotify with an endless morass of garbage, let’s hope more musicians take the time to do what Bush Tetras have done.
These New York postpunkers started in 1979–when you really could call yourself postpunk–and have been laying low for a decade. Just in case you don’t know, I put their biggest hit, “Too Many Creeps,” up top.
Now they’re back with a fast-paced, hook-filled album about the meaning of womanhood, menstruation, and the value of the life of an infesting pest. That’s actually my favorite song on the album, “Mouse,” because it’s funny but also deep. “I killed a mouse inside my house/I made my mind up, it was his time/He had a good life, now I have mine.” Their lyrics continue to challenge established views of being female: “I’m fragile, but I’m not broken,” Cynthia Sley sings on “Don’t Stop It.” And on the song that should be their roar back to life, “Out Again,” she growls the chorus, over and over, meditating on the power of the grinding guitar and feedback below her. It’s sad that the original bass player passed away years ago, but Sley, guitarist Pat Place and (amazing!) drummer Dee Pop have truly never sounded better.