Tuesday, January 03, 2006

UK Riot Grrrl Records and their Friends: Skinned Teen

Who: Skinned Teen
From: UK
When: Early to mid 90’s
Who: You got me. The amount of info on this band on line in zero to none.

The one record I have that features tracks from them doesn’t list band members at all but I do know a woman named Layla who also played in Element of Crime and Petty Crime was in this band and Chris from Huggy Bear was on the cover of the Lookout / Wiiiji release.

One thing I have really learned in compiling these RG bands was it was very out of fashion to list band members full names and many records feature no artist info at all. The focus was much more on the message and mood the band was trying to express and often it was more important than the music itself.

It also seems that many of these bands refused to do interviews back in the day no less allowed themselves to be photographed so I guess I shouldn’t be all that surprised as to how little info there is on this specific pocket of bands.

Where are they now? Anybody know because I don’t.

Why did I pick this band for the list? Almost by default this band has to be on my list. With two member who moved onto other Riot Grrrl related bands I would feel wrong in leaving them off. Plus skinned Teen comes up time and time again by other UK Riot Grrrl bands in their interviews and S.T. was highly regarded in Riot Grrrl zines at the time. Also labels like Slampt, Soul Static Sound and Wiiija were cornerstone supporters to the RG movement and S.T. had records out on all of them!

Karate Hairdresser 7" (Soul Static Sound, UK)Some Hearts Paid To Lie 2x7" comp (Wiiija, UK)Raooul/Skinned Teen split 12"/CD (Wiiija/Lookout, UK/USA)Total Tiger Beat cassette (Spazoom, UK)"Nancy Drew" on comp 7" (The Super 8)Elactic Jet Mission LP compilation (Slampt)

History: I feel terrible that I don’t have any background on this band to share and sadly
I don’t own anything by them other than 1 side of the Some Hearts Paid to Lie 7” comp. If anybody knows anything about this band please feel free to post it in the comment section.

The songs on the Some Hearts comp are typical of the day. Minimal / simple which is a nice way to say beginners grrrl punk. The bass begins almost every song, a chorus of girl voices sing the song together and it just wouldn’t be complete without a hint of spoken word and lyrics that could be found in any teenage girl's diary. Each song sounds more a quick passing bubble thought rather than a complete and finished idea but a bunch of girls singing over a bass line paints a very accurate picture of the bands from that time.

I remember playing this 7" at the record store I used to work at in the 90's and my boss asked me if "these bands" (meaning Riot Grrrl bands) had ever played their instruments or written a song before they decided to walk into a studio to record. Listening to these records more than ten years later I can finally hear where he was coming from but it doesn't erase any of the charm I still feel for these songs.

Since we are sort of on the subject :

Some Hearts Paid to Lie was a double 7” on Wiiji Records out of the UK in the early 90’s and contains some of the key Riot Grrrl related bands of the day.

Side one features Linus – “ Born Again”, “Trivia” and “Woe”
Side two features Pussycat Trash – “Un Soul Less” and “Doris”
Side three features Comet Gain-“Aliens At War” and “A kind of Loving”
Side four features Skinned Teen – “Skinned Teen Anthem”, “Secrets”, “Shiny Shoes”, “Cinderella” and “Swimsuit Blonde”