Regrettes? You’ll Have None About Loving ‘Feel Your Feelings Fool!’
“I’ve got pimples on my face/And grease in my hair/Prickly legs, go ahead and stare,” 15-year-old Lydia Night declares on “A Living Human Girl” from Feel Your Feelings Fool!, the stunning debut album by her L.A. quartet the Regrettes. “An ass full of stretch marks and little boobs/A nice full belly that’s filled with food/Sometimes I’m pretty and sometimes I'm not/So let’s take a listen, hit me with your best shot!”
The Spartan intro to that track recalls an early ’60s girl group surly on speed, or maybe a perverse take on Laura Nyro in a capella mode with LaBelle. But the better description for the album as a whole was penned by a wittier scribe than me: “Bikini Kill meets the Ronettes.” Blistering rage against the patriarchy rarely has been so melodic or so funny, and it’s all the more mind-blowing coming from four high-schoolers for whom legal drinking age is still a dream. When Todd Martens told the band’s remarkable story in The Los Angeles Times, Night laid out her modus operandi in no uncertain terms: “I feel like everyone in this generation right now is in denial about their feelings and about who they are and what they like and what they don’t… Having feelings and being honest is cool.”
Indeed it is, especially when it comes in short, sharp shocks as undeniable, effervescent, and humorous as “Hey Now,” “Juicebox Baby,” “Pale Skin,” and, well, really, every one of these 15 tracks. Rarely has the future of rock felt in such good hands.
The Regrettes, Feel Your Feelings Fool! (Warner Bros.)
Rating on the 4-star scale: 4 stars.