The Julie Ruin – Hit Reset
Kathleen Hanna has been a fixture in the punk scene since the 80s and has influenced countless budding musicians with her bands Bikini Kill and Le Tigre. Her THIRD band, The Julie Ruin, released their second album, Hit Reset, in 2016 and it includes some of the best songwriting to date. Coming off a multi-year hiatus due to a bout with Lyme disease, Kathleen shows us she’s not going to let a setback like that get her down. Hit Reset sees her and the band expanding on the sounds of both Kathleen’s other bands by blending the more classic punk sound of Bikini Kill with the electro-punk of Le Tigre to create a sound that fans of both bands can enjoy. Kathleen’s signature bratty singing style is front and center as she takes the listener on a journey through her childhood traumas and more than a few toxic relationships (including the personal favorite retort “start a kickstarter for your heart”). The band, consisting of Sara Landeau, Kathi Wilcox, Kenny Mellman, and Carmine Covelli, are there alongside Kathleen to flavor each song with just the right amount of pep or grit to nicely accentuate the at times deeply personal lyrics.
I first got into Kathleen’s work in the early 00s with Le Tigre’s album “This Island.” It was during a time when my musical tastes were budding and I was looking for anything and everything new and different. Her unique writing and delivery led me down the rabbit hole of her catalog as well as similar acts like Sleater-Kinney. Admittedly she had fallen off my radar for quite some time until I discovered Hit Reset, which knowing what I know now about her health problems, makes sense and makes this album seem all the more important to her body of work. She kicked Lyme disease in the ass and now she isn’t pulling any punches (not like she ever really held back anyway). She’s making the music SHE wants to make and her fans, both old and new, are ready for it.