Gits' Frenching The Bully To See Re-Release
You may have heard more about the 1993 murder of Gits frontwoman Mia Zapata than about the awesome strength of their ragged punk-rock sounds. But check out the Seattle band's debut album, Frenching the Bully originally dropped in '92 and out of print since '94 when it's re-released on Broken Rekids next month, and you'll discover the real cause for their legendary status today.
Produced, re-mixed and re-mastered by renowned producer Jack Endino and surviving bandmembers (guitarist Joe Spleen, bassist Matthew Fred Dresdner and drummer Steve Moriarty), this version of Frenching the Bully includes two bonus tracks and eight live tracks. The live songs were caught in June of '93 at Portland, Ore.'s legendary and now defunct punk club X-Ray Café. Frenching the Bully was originally released on the Seattle-based C/Z label.
San Francisco-based Broken Rekids also plans to re-release The Gits' sophomore album, 1994's Enter: The Conquering Chicken (which the group was recording at the time of Zapata's death), in October; it will also include bonus outtakes and live material.
While the punk-rock "formula" The Gits adhered to isn't complicated, it's the personalities of the bandmembers that make their recordings special. And Zapata's fiery, pissed-off attitude and, of course, her voice, were something special. Zapata was a riot grrl of sorts without ever having considered herself such ( she didn't preach feminist politics). Her strong, raging presence was enough to convince anyone of her struggle to be taken on her own terms, her honesty and her determination.
"I was working in a shit hole one day/ And some fool came up to me and said/ 'You'd make a star with that band,'" Zapata sneers in her signature gravelly, badass style on "Slaughter of Bruce." "I said, 'It's not why we're doing this/ Why can't you fucking get it?'/ 'Cause all I've got to do is release/ Through these obstacles I've got to beat."
With the semi-melodic, sweet-then-sour "Wingo Lamo," Zapata's touching, heartfelt lyrics not only bare her own pain but, because of their sincerity, force you to examine your own. The beauty of lyrics like Zapata's is when they articulate something that you've felt but haven't quite been able to put your finger on. "I can't make any sense unless it's in a song," she sings, allowing her voice to carry and vibrate (rare on the record), revealing another side of her singing. "And every time I try to feel/ I only seem to wake up lifeless/ Where would it ever end/ When we fall to our own demand?/ It takes up your life/ And throws it like dice/ Each time we fail/ It never gets overlooked."
The 22-track record has an energy that at times threatens to run you over. Highlights are such songs as "Another Shot of Whiskey," "Here's to Your Fuck" and "Cut My Skin It Makes Me Human." The Gits' songs spit in your face and slap you around a bit you can't help but get fired up listening to their slamming, punishing and raw tunes.
The remaining Gits have been working with director Kerri O'Kane and producer Jessica Bender on a film documentary about Zapata and The Gits. Several benefit shows and screenings are being planned to help raise money to finish the documentary. For more information on the upcoming re-releases and the film, check the band's official site and The Gits' movie site Jenny Tatone [Friday, June 20, 2003]