Reviews

The Scissor Girls The Scissor Girls LP

Vinyl reissue of the seven-song 1992 demo tape from Chicago’s art school No Wave revivalists the SCISSOR GIRLS, who channeled the warped dadaism of the RED CRAYOLA circa Soldier-Talk and early ’80s CAPTAIN BEEFHEART, the controlled chaos of the MARS/DNA side of No New York, and the most antagonistic and damaged strains of ’78-’82 US/UK DIY post-punk, all in an early-to-mid-’90s underground landscape where that particular combination of reference points wasn’t exactly in vogue. By the time they split up in 1996, they’d started to stretch into the sort of meltdown noise territory that would later be the calling card of ’00s-era Load Records (who actually put out a SCISSOR GIRLS 10″ as one of their earliest releases), but these recordings document the band at their most concise, with every song just a fit of raw slash and scrape that combusts before hitting the three-minute mark. You can clearly spot the breadcrumbs they laid down here for others to follow after them—the wiry, stop-start “Insanitary Sanctuary” is an almost dead-on harbinger of contemporary Chicago post-punks NEGATIVE SCANNER (especially in bassist Azita’s defiantly sneering vocals), the scrambled-yet-danceable rhythms of tracks like “Riveted” and “Omens” will be instantly recognizable to anyone even passingly familiar with ERASE ERRATA, etc. Total visionaries!