Huggy Bear

Weaponry Listens to Love

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Though only the group's second long-player, Weaponry Listens to Love became Huggy Bear's swan song in early 1995 when the quartet disbanded just slightly after its three-year anniversary -- the predetermined expiration date that the band members set for themselves upon forming in the early '90s. Even in its short lifespan, however, Huggy Bear accomplished more than most bands ever do, practically defining the U.K. riot grrrl scene for many, and wreaking havoc everywhere the group played its caustic punk rock ruckus. On Weaponry, the songs may be rougher and tougher, but the band members still wear their smarts on their sleeves, shouting and spouting political anthems like "Facedown" and "16 + Suicide." Even still, many fans of the band's Taking the Rough With the Smooch may find its follow-up disappointing. The material here is less singsongy and obvious, opting for sludgier instrumentation and more male lead vocals than in the past. All in all, it's a fine ending to a superb career, but falls unfortunately short of reaching the glorious heights of the band's early days.

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