Kleenex/LiLiPUT – First Songs

There have been few punk bands whose catalog remains in as much demand for reissue as Swiss group Kleenex (later: LiLiPUT). The originals go for high marks on the secondary market and the box set that Mississippi put out back in 2011 is long gone. Kill Rock Stars packs up the first two discs of the box in a nice set that’s undoubtedly going to sprint off of shelves as quickly as people hear about it. There’s always a new generation of kids just learning about Kleenex/LiLiPUT and it seems that each one is no less rapt than the last. The band was formed by Marlene Marder after a poor experience as part of a predominantly male punk band. After leaving she connected with friends Lislot Hafner, Regula Sing, and Klaudia Schifferle to form their own band that owed less to the sound of punk but plenty to the spirit of it. They adopted the form’s stripped down style but injected a bit of bite and bounce to their two minute pop songs. The results pair better with the post-punk generation, finding common ground with Wire, The Raincoats, The Slits or The Au Pairs.

The band’s confusing name swap comes from the the group achieving just enough fame in their time to attract the attention of Kimberly-Clark, manufacturer of the Kleenex brand, who shut them down and threatened to sue. The band shifted to the name LiLiPUT in reference to the Gulliver’s Travels setting. Following the name change the band signed to Rough Trade, where they issued their two coveted albums. This collection, however, focuses on the earlier singles that saw them through 1980’s Eisiger Wind which appeared on Off Course Records. The collection wraps up some of the band’s most vital tracks, bouncing with life and bursting at the seams. They have a way of cracking a smile on the most dour listeners. Its cacophonous, boisterous and essential. The group disbanded in 1983 and, sadly, Marder passed away earlier this year. This set is a great start to getting the band’s works back into regular rotation, though. Hoping that this sparks Rough Trade to put their two albums back into reissue as well, since I (and probably most people) haven’t got $70-$100 lying around for originals.




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