Close your eyes and press play. You’ve been thrown into a time machine, spun around a few times and transported back to the 60s. The Reprobettes play house to the Whiskey a Go Go, the iconic sunset strip nightclub in West Hollywood. The 5-piece girl group rock out fuzzy garage rock, surf rock and punk tunes, while go-go girls dance on the ledges above; all legs, painted faces and shimmer.
The Reprobettes are a delicious revival band, a throwback to the halcyon days of the Californian 60s. Formed in Melbourne in 2012, the all-girl growlers have been impressing audiences with their sassiness and wailing banshee screams. Their debut eponymous album is a decadent ode to female punk. Each song title has a sense of anarchy, whether its subtle or conspicuous and the lyrics are devoted to tales of sour relationships, liberation, rebellion and acceptance. The guitars are fuzzy, with the keyboard adjusted to organ mode, giving the record a vintage surf-rock flavour. Kat Karamitros and Sally Balhorn deliver vocals and harmonies reminiscent of The Belles and Linda Van Dyck.
The album opens with a bombastic “Reprobettes Theme,” an instrumental that wouldn’t be out of place on the B-side of the Pulp Fiction soundtrack. Fans of the genre will be hooked instantly, with the rest of the album easily sounding like a Tarantino mixtape. It doesn’t come as a surprise then when you read online that the girls are incredibly influenced by The 5,6,7,8s, the kooky Japanese girl group who featured in Kill Bill.
The album is comprised of nine originals and two covers, the latter reinforcing the girls’ affection for female rock and roll. “I Don’t Love You No More” by Continental Co-ets and “Stengun” by Linda Van Dyck are covered well here with the latter more bombastic and fierce than the original.
Essentially a punk record, The Reprobettes is a groovy respite from the blatant and self-indulgent pop music of today.
Review score: 8.1 out of 10