WKNH Music Director
The latest release from Napali Anarcho Punk label Ris Records, Slime Baff Toilet Surprise’s “I’ll Run With You,” is a fantastic concoction of post hardcore riffage, electro beats, and feminist introspection on the place of a queer women in a very heteronormative world. The band arose briefly out of the highly fertile and effective Kathmandu DIY scene.
According to a message the band sent out upon the release of their debut Extended Play Record, the band was formed when the three friends met at a climbing gym, and discovered they also had a common love for music.
They decided to form their band, even though they knew it couldn’t last longer than 3 months because one of them would be moving out of the country.
The main instrumentation on the record is guitar, bass, voice, a Yamaha synth and drum machine.
The production is crisp, at times dipping more into a lo-fi aesthetic, though the record maintains exceptional clarity and sonic brilliance throughout all six songs.
The album opens with the track “Be Free”, a bombastic opener which begins with a sing-song chant which after several bars gets underscored by the electronic drums and a stabbing distorted guitar, cool bass lines and a droning synth melody.
Aside from the sing-song chant, this formula becomes the bedrock of the record, rearranging elements as they need. Like on the track, “Straight White World,” the guitar takes a major back seat to the bass and synth in the first section of the song.
This formula that does not wear out its welcome over the six song run. This band has a knack for creating purpelent pop-punk music that keeps its thrust while maintaining a balance between their pop sensibilities and the beauty of their post hardcore drift and jam. The second track “Ookami Ona” highlights many of the major lyrical themes of the album. Here, we get the singer asking herself, or posing as someone else asking her, some very abstract questions about who she is and how one can live an authentic life.
The chorus, of sorts, responds by announcing all the various aspects of her identity as a woman.
If you’re looking for a comparison, there’s Kathleen Hanna’s electro punk group Le Tigre, the obvious comparisons being Hanna’s known use of feminist theories and ideologies as a bedrock for lyrical construction, and the use of synth and electronic music elements in that project, though Le Tigre makes more aggressive use of the electronic production elements.
A large thematic element to Slime Baff’s record is the concept of ‘wild wolf women’, which originates from a book called “Women Who Run With Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Estes is a psychoanalyst and thinker who specialises in post-trauma and ethno-clinical psychology. One of the members found this book while hiking the Annapurna mountains in Nepal. The record packs a wild and digestible fury and creativity that is wonderfully suited for the times we are living. Take a listen.
Coraline Seksinsky can be contacted at email@example.com