Album review: Grrrl Gang

Grrrl Gang - Here To Stay! (Damnably)

Indonesian indie-rock band, Grrrl Gang.

Indonesian indie-rock band, Grrrl Gang.

WHILE INDIE fans on this side of the world are open to, and to a certain extent familiar with, indie-rock from Japan and Korea, Indonesia is entirely unknown territory.

Grrl Gang are Angeeta Sentana, Akbar Rumandung, and Edo Alventa, from Yogyakarta, southern Indonesia, and this mini-album collects their output of singles to date.

The trio's sound is wistful, energetic, and sweet with an undertone of sighing melancholy - and they are well able to craft delicate, highly melodic, songs ('Just A Game', 'Bathroom' ), which owe much to Glasgow's indie scene of the 1980s, especially The Vaselines, The Pastels, and BMX Bandits - in fairness, totemic touchstones for all acts in the genre.

Where they differ from Anglo-American indie is in their frankness. 'Here To Stay!' is an unflinching recollection of early sexual experiences ("with your arms wrapped around my neck/you made me feel good all night long!" ), noticeable in a genre which tends towards the asexual.

Where they are utterly contemporary is the feminism underpinning Angeeta's lyrics. "I wasn't born to be a mother/I was born to raise hell...I wasn't born to be a wife/I was born to live a life of my own/It's never gonna be easy," she declares in the manifesto-like 'Guys Don't Read Sylvia Plath', while 'Dream Girl' is a celebration of a woman in all her complexity, toughness, and tenderness ("She's a vision of heaven and hell...she's my dream girl" ). It is these songs which make Grrl Gang welcome. We're looking forward to more.


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