Each month Your New Favourite Old Band features a band who been around a long time, long since split up and otherwise forgotten or unfairly overlooked by music history. This month, The Raincoats.
It was Kurt and Courtney who first introduced me to The Raincoats, although not personally of course. Kurt was a big fan of the band, wrote the sleevenotes for the re-release of their self titled first album and booked them as a support band for Nirvana when the band reformed in the nineties. Courtney’s band Hole, who were my favourite band in my mid-teens, covered ‘The Void’ also from that same debut album.
As a parenting blogger, the name of this band was always going to attract my attention, as if I wasn’t already hooked by the desription of them as a feminist punk supergroup (supergroup being a fairly loose term, as Chastity Belt is the best known band any of the members is in).
I suspect many people would unfairly expect a feminist punk group to be a humourless affair, but in fact Childbirth are the most fun band I’ve heard in an age. Recent album ‘Women’s Rights’ is full of tracks which are sarcastic, satirical and hilarious. “More Fertile Than You” being a prime example, with lyrics like “I’ve got eggs by the dozen and you’ve got none, I’ve got eggs by the dozen do you want some”
Other tracks satirise attitudes to marriage, parenting, relationships and (unexpectedly) the band Best Coast. But Childbirth are more than just a novelty or comedy band. Tracks like ‘Nasty Grrls’ are fantastic, catchy songs in their own right, and bear repeated listens in a way that few funny songs do. Sure, there’s a strong suspicion that tracks like ‘Tech Bro’ and ‘Siri, Open Tinder’ may sound a bit dated in a few years time, and Childbirth have been dismissed as a bit lightweight in some quarters, but ultimately, who cares?
A lot of the stuff I read about music takes it ever so seriously (perhaps because I’m in a Joanna Newsom fan group on Facebook). Whilst music is incredibly important to me, it’s important to remember that it’s supposed to be fun as well. And if you’re looking for a fun new band, Childbirth are as good a place to start as any.