NPR logo Song Premiere: Childbirth, 'Nasty Grrls'

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Song Premiere: Childbirth, 'Nasty Grrls'

Childbirth (from left): Bree McKenna, Stacy Peck and Julia Shapiro. Shaine Truscott/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Shaine Truscott/Courtesy of the artist

Childbirth (from left): Bree McKenna, Stacy Peck and Julia Shapiro.

Shaine Truscott/Courtesy of the artist

Punk has always been hospitable to filth. Blood, sweat, spit, vomit, beer and hair gel from a melting fauxhawk — all are crucial to the movement. Punk embraces the taboo, the base and the precious, forcing all three into conversation. But that's not to say individual punks are inherently interested in being disgusting. Then again, sometimes they are, and write a whole song about it. Seattle punk supergroup Childbirth, made up of Julia Shapiro (Chastity Belt), Bree McKenna (Tacocat) and Stacy Peck (Pony Time), did just that with "Nasty Grrls," an ode to women who aren't afraid of a little grime.

This irreverent embrace of the ick factor has a political bent. With "Nasty Grrls," Childbirth (which is itself a commentary on what society deems "gross") aims, as bassist McKenna says, to "reclaim being nasty ... in an anthem about unattractive, 'unfeminine' female habits." Punk music might accept fringe cultures and practices, but it is notoriously less inclusive of female audiences. When these three women, who've all explored gendered double standards in their other bands, gleefully list dirty habits, they make room for others uninterested in washing their hair or cleaning their fingernails to be heard. They can make plenty of noise while filthy, thanks.

Women's Rights is out October 2 on Suicide Squeeze.

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