Posts Tagged ‘Wet Lips’

Cable Ties’ Jenny McKechnie on Au Pairs – Playing With A Different Sex

As far as new artists in 2017 go, I’d say that Cable Ties are taking top honors right now. In their home country of Australia they’re raking in accolades and topping out mid-year charts, a trend that should hopefully catch on worldwide if there’s any justice. The band’s Jenny McKechnie is pulling triple duty as a cultural force, playing in newcomers Wet Lips alongside the Ties and co-heading a new label, Hysterical Records, alongside Amanda Vitartas of Future Popes and Grace Kindellan of Wet Lips. While Cable Ties is a taut musical force in its own right, much of the credit must be given to McKechnie’s vocal prowess and biting lyrics, both of which have drawn comparisons to crucial feminist punk outfits like X-Ray Spex or Sleater-Kinney. As usual with Hidden Gems I’ve asked Jenny to pick a record that’s been a bit overlooked in her opinion and tell how it came into her life and impacted her music. She gives her take on the Au Pairs’ ever resonant debut Playing With a Different Sex below.

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Wet Lips

More greatness out of Australia’s feminist punk underground, fast becoming the vital vein in a scene rife with the kind of buoyant energy that makes us Yanks feel like slackers incarnate. The debut from Wet Lips, out on the band’s own perfectly named Hysterical Records, is as fierce an LP as you’re liable to encounter this year. In the same vein as bassist Jenny McKechnie’s Cable Ties, the band takes the boys club to task, flaying the Y chromosome contenders with their own double standards and bullshit regard. It’s not so much a rallying cry as it its a statement of purpose, a manifesto made flesh in electric current, laying the hot wire down in your own puddle of nervous flop-sweat and set to fry.

The band pins their detractors to the wall, nailing them all as “just another faker in a Bad Seeds t-shirt.” Lord knows there’s no way their targets don’t deserve a dressing down and then some, but Wet Lips aren’t just here to throw insults without a foil chomped punk pedigree to back it up. The trio pack their debut full of hardened, nail-bitten barrel-rolls that lock in and bare down to the bitter end.

Grace Kindellan’s vocals crack with just the right amount of seismic fervor, dredging up a lineage that brings to mind the impeccably named C86’ers We Have A Fuzzbox And We’re Gonna Use It, doubled down with the entirety of Olympia’s feminist punk oeuvre. Sadly, Americans will balk because Wet Lips aren’t rolling through Iowa, and somehow we gotta see it to believe it. But be forewarned, hesitate and you’ll miss this seething slab of youth, a vital strain of punk that can’t be beaten, bowed or bent. If you’re reading this, it’s already to late, Wet Lips have cornered the market on raised hackles and grit-perfect riffs. No way you’re gonna get crush harder than this.




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Wet Lips – “Here If You Need”

The glut of albums has taken time away from some great tracks of late, so why not play catch-up? In addition to anchoring RSTB faves Cable Ties, Jenny McKechnie takes up ranks in Melbourne’s Wet Lips. The band’s sound is just as tough as her other gig, though she takes less of a front-woman role here so the vocal quotient docks in a touch less powerful than Cable Ties. Not as beholden to post-punk impulses, Wet Lips hew closer to a more traditional punk palette growling through grit-teeth injustice and riding tension like a straight-edge razor on the fire-bellied “Here If You Need.” The song encapsulates, as the band mentions, “being a woman in a social situation. the obligations you feel to be polite, respectful, small, restrained, not be seen to be greedy or attention seeking.”

The album has just moved back a bit to a June 30th release and it’s coming out on the band’s own imprint Hysterical Records, which offers up their debut alongside fellow Aussies Shrimpwitch as their inaugural releases.


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Wet Lips / Cable Ties – Split

One of the most exciting discoveries of the year for me has to be Melbourne’s Cable Ties. The band pits the taught energy of post-punk diggers like Eddy Current Suppression Ring and Toy Love against the boiling light banshee buoyancy of riot grrrl original front-women like Poly Styrene and Corin Tucker. They band hasn’t hit with a full-length yet (fingers crossed that’s coming soon) but they’ve got a proper split with fellow Melbourne trio Wet Lips. The AA single has both bands in fine form, not in any small part because both bands feature secret weapon Jenny McKechnie, whose vocals in Cable Ties are unmatched by most anyone stepping to the mic these days. Wet Lips hit hard on the first side, barreling and tumbling with the energy and bounce of a lost Undertones single rendered less carefree and a touch more urgent. The flip sees Cable Ties step to the plate yet again with a perfect snap of bass, rubbery and driving paired with the sneer and swagger of guitar lines that seem instantly familiar, yet undeniably vicious and beg for the volume knob to be red-lined every time. As mentioned, though, it’s McKechnie who topples the song over into a territory with more bite, belting each line like her very life depended on reaching the quiet kid in the corner of the club.

Both tracks are recorded by Paul Maybury, who has his hands behind the decks of the upcoming album from Cable Ties as well. Sounding good so far. This is only a taste to tide over, but its a good one.

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