Poison Girls - Real Woman

Poison Girls - Real Woman
Release Date:
February 18, 1997
Recording Date:
April, 1978 - 1987
Hardcore Punk, Punk, Punk/New Wave
Real Woman

A sampler from the overall Statement: The Complete Recordingd box set that collected Poison Girls' work, Real Woman is a fun and thrilling introduction to Vi Subversa and her compatriots' compositions over the years. There's no chronological or thematic organization to the 12-song collection -- just a sharp selection, an appreciative essay, and a sense of Subversa's do-what-you-want-when-you-want spirit. Kicking off with the great title track (hilarious line: "You can't squeeze me like a lemon, so squeeze your own!"), which has a wonderfully jaunty lope, Real Woman demonstrates above all else that rather than being simply being part of the Crass orbit, the group very much had its own sharp style. Check out the great arrangements on "Underbitch," for instance -- it wouldn't sound out of place on a Gang of Four record on the one hand, but spiking the crisp, cold funk with a sudden breakdown into tape loops and a cappella semi-chanting is the group's own genius. Not everything need be so tightly wound, of course -- where the band is often like Crass is its ability to try all sorts of approaches, like the cool pulse and shimmer of "Voodoo Pappadollar." The piano-led "Promenade Immortelle" is one of the gentlest moments of '80s punk, soft singing and low-key speaking conveying lyrical messages through understatement, with a synth-tinged conclusion matched by a high, haunting, wordless vocal. Subversa's singing is especially great throughout -- proudly English, discursive, and downright fun even when the message is as sharp as can be; if anything, she could easily stand up next to Marianne Faithfull's work in the '80s and beyond. The inclusion of four live tracks, despite some thin recording quality that favors the bass well over the guitars on tracks like "Daughters and Sons," is a good touch.

Real Woman / Poison Girls / Vi SubversaPoison Girls3:45
Underbitch / Poison Girls / Vi SubversaPoison Girls4:17
Promenade Immortelle / Poison Girls / Vi SubversaPoison Girls6:56
Cupid / Poison Girls / Vi SubversaPoison Girls3:43
Alienation / Poison Girls / Vi SubversaPoison Girls3:42
Jenny / Poison Girls / Vi SubversaPoison Girls3:36
Cry No More / Poison Girls / Vi SubversaPoison Girls3:30
Persons Unknown / Poison Girls / Vi SubversaPoison Girls4:05
Daughters and Sons / Poison Girls / Vi SubversaPoison Girls5:07
Voodoo PappadollarPoison Girls4:21
Done It All Before / Poison Girls / Vi SubversaPoison Girls3:20
Statement / Poison Girls / Vi SubversaPoison Girls4:27

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