Kill Rock Stars

The angular post-punk femi-squall of LiLiPUT (formerly the copyright-infringing Kleenex) certainly had its niche amongst its European avant sisters of the late ’70s. More methodically tense than The Raincoats, less caustically fierce than The Slits, the Swiss misses in LiLiPUT made truly engaging art-punk with similar immediacy but with the signifying presence of heavy syncopation.

In the absence of punk’s assaultive downstroked guitarisms, LiLiPUT found equal viciousness through the inventive use of bass slides, pick scratches, and dissonance. Vocally, they owe as much debt to Yoko Ono as X-Ray Spex, lining their already disorienting jumble with rhythmic bursts, percussive squeals that permeate the background, sing-songy children’s verse, and often just plain gibberish.

Their percussive clamor subverted the subversive, breaking down punk rock’s boundaries with both their musical philosophy and their femininity. So what better time for a reissue of their complete works? Today’s most adventurous genres are currently being subverted by increasingly adventurous women — Chicks On Speed, Le Tigre, Lauryn Hill, etc. At risk of rewriting history, one could even argue that the kind-of-rebellious-for-the-pop-world über-syncopated Mirwais production on the new Madonna record is merely an evolved ancestor of the LiLiPUT stutter-punk aesthetic. But perhaps its best to leave history making to the history-makers, and this collection is a integral document of just that.

Kill Rock Stars, PMB 418, 120 NE State Ave., Olympia, WA 98501

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