Skinny Girl Diet

Ideal Woman

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Following a series of increasingly visible self-released EPs, feminist punk combo Skinny Girl Diet made their long-awaited debut with 2016's appealingly cathartic Heavy Flow. At the time, the London-based group consisted of sisters Delilah and Ursula Holliday on guitar and drums, respectively, with their cousin Amelia Cutler on bass. With the subsequent departure of Cutler, the Hollidays opted to forgo bass altogether and carry on as a duo which is where their 2018 follow-up, Ideal Woman, finds them. Maintaining their D.I.Y. independence, the band again self-released the album in the U.K. -- in late 2018 -- with HHBTM Records handling things on the American front. In terms of tone and power, Skinny Girl Diet have lost little in their transition to duo status, churning out raw, fiery jams like "Shed Your Skin" and "Warrior Queens" that play defiantly to the back of the club. If anything, Ideal Woman is possessed of a darker, sludgier spirit than Heavy Flow, with songs like "La Sirena" and "Witch of the Waste" pairing the early metal doom of Black Sabbath with primal power of the Stooges' proto-punk. Thematically, they remain true to their riot grrrl aesthetic, confronting gender, racial, and cultural bias on tracks like "Western Civilisation" or dealing with nonconformity on the brief but furious "Outsider." Without employing a third member, Delilah and Ursula seem to take more musical chances here, nimbly shifting tempos and attacking dynamics using a shared sisterly brainwave. Like their debut, Ideal Woman is challenging and sometimes difficult, but fearsome in the way that quality rock music often is.

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