Let the words lead you. Let them guide you on a measured mid-tempo stroll through eye roll sarcasm and the spoken word indictments of a dismissive patriarchy. Let them pull you along deep into the black well of pent-up frustration where outrage boils over into righteous indignation. Let them lift you by the collar and toss you into the fray as the punches start flying because, in truth, the time for words has long ended and sometimes (most of the time) all the knuckle-draggers can understand is spilled blood and a show of force.
For a band that trades in sweaty dance punk anthems and speedy Riot Grrrl screeds, Nihilist Cheerleader have never been short on energy or fighting spirit, but “& She Takes It” might be the band’s most ecstatic moment yet. Guitarist and vocalist Flynne Collins delivers an emphatic performance, cooly maintaining her grit and composure, even as guitars flare, simmer, and burn all around her. But as the track hurtles headlong towards its fiery conclusion, she finally unleashes her anger and resentment in a vigorous display of defiance and female empowerment.
“I love the type of woman that knows when she needs to start a fight / I love the type of woman that knows when she needs to throw a punch / I love the type of woman that knows when she needs to take a stand,” Collins screams, the words flying out of her mouth like so many steely jabs and stiff upper cuts. It’s a moment fraught with tension and rage, but the underlying message is clear: the future may be female, but it won’t come without a fight.
“& She Takes It” is the first single from Nihilist Cheerleader’s upcoming LP, Riot, Right?, out this spring.
Nihilist Cheerleader will perform on Sat., June 17 at 529 in support of Natural Velvet and Shepherds. Fellow locals Lois Righteous open the show. Doors are at 9 p.m. Admission is $7. 21+ to enter.