Tramps Like Us

Born to shun polite society, the Menstrual Tramps treat punk like a fishnet-stocking and pogo-dancing party

Should Lavender listen to her mother's band, she certainly won't grow up to be a shrinking violet: A wrathful young woman's perspective fills the Menstrual Tramps' lyrics. It's not the sort of pop-feminist rant that you'd find on a current Le Tigre/Kathleen Hanna venture: This band specializes in blunt, honest, and often harsh rages against the messed-up world. For instance, the song "Redneck Girl" is a Miss Manners-from-the-Ozarks lesson aimed at the types she recognizes from her unenlightened past: "Hey bitch/I used to be just like you... What you said doesn't mean shit to me, Redneck Girl/Open your eyes and see."

The Menstrual Tramps practice tough love, whether they're tackling women-specific issues or not. With the song "Be a Man," army recruiters and their recruits get a piece of the Menstrual Tramps' mind. "Rip you apart, fill you up with lies," White warns, "Put you through school, that is, if you don't die."

That time of the month: Sigrid Sheie of the Menstrual Tramps
Craig Lassig
That time of the month: Sigrid Sheie of the Menstrual Tramps

As with most hardcore bands, the Tramps' politics are sometimes lost in their music's cacophony. The mohawked, the safety-pinned, and the fishnet-stockinged who fill the band's 400 Bar show seem to be getting the message. In the spirit of London, 1977, one aging crusty even begins hurling plastic cups toward the stage in homage. Looking at that poor cheerleader, I wouldn't recommend blowing a gob of spit, Sex Pistols-style, at this band.

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