The big names of the UK riot grrrl scene are well known and documented -
bands like Huggy Bear, Skinned Teen, Comet Gain have claimed space, but
there was also a strong, vibrant scene represented north of London - bands
like Pussycat Trash, Golden Starlet, Witchknot and further north in Scotland
Lung Leg, Hello Skinny and Sally Skull made strong, brave, individual
sounds. Among these true pioneers were Coping Saw, surely the most unhinged,
fearsome and genuinely exciting band of the lot.
Their sound was a neurotic mashing together of styles, aggressive, lyrically
expansive vocal work from WACK CAT's Karren Ablaze working over
number of influences, including riot-grrrl, jazz-tinged improvising ('Basket
Owl' and the heartbreaking 'For L'), pop ('Addictionary' and the emotive,
melancholy 'Boats'), krautrock (the frenzied, brilliant 'Gas Electric') and
brutal all-out punk ('No Sex In Rock'n' Roll'). Althogether it creates some
of the most vivid, affecting music created within the UK underground for
many years - one listen to the album closer and astounding musical
nervous-breakdown titled 'Roadblock' and you'll be stunned to silence by the
band's passion and extremity, it's definitely one of those 'moments'.
Sadly Coping Saw's days have passed, their members went onto new pastures
including bands and projects like WACK CAT, BEAR, LAZERBOY,
ESPRIT DE CORPS,
ACTION CENTRAL and RANDOM NUMBER. Regardless of that though, 'Outside Now'
is still the defining moment of Coping Saw's life and greatness and sounds
as frenzied and raw as it did when it was made. You'd be foolish to
disregard this amazing piece of work.
*Her Majesty Andrew Friendly*