The Julie Ruin: Hit Reset – album review

The Julie Ruin - Hit ResetThe Julie Ruin – Hit Reset (Hardly Art)

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The Julie Ruin have found their sound on Hit Reset, packed with fizzing pop melodies and honest lyrics this album has everything.

The term influential is all to easily banded around, but few can boast as a career as illustrious as Kathleen Hanna. With both Le Tigre and Bikini Kill leaving lasting legacies, Hanna is a tour de force and Hit Reset sees her at her lyrical best with incredibly honest words that are so sparsely heard now. Hit Reset is the sound of a more confident band, in Hanna’s own words she was more willing to take risks, especially after being on the road with the band for a year.

It’s infinitely honest to a tee. Both extremely powerful and empowering, it’s a record that isn’t afraid to touch upon areas that others often skirt around. For instance, Mr So and So is a scathing depiction of male fandom and the false front that is so often seen, as well as the patronising comments that often follow it. This is only half the story though as Hanna dives in deeper tearing apart the stereotype further describing the only thing that is real is his “sweaty glow”. It’s a brutal likeness but an all too common one, all set against a jovial beat.

These enthusiastic dancefloor filling beats underpin Hit Reset, there’s a consistent groove throughout the record whether it be the ecstatic Be Nice or the blusterous Record Breaker, even the downbeat opener and title track possesses a dance worthy beat. once again though it’s the piercing lyrics that resonate. Fizzing with disdain as she chants “I don’t think you’re sorry at all” her powerful delivery sets the album alight in raucous style.

The sauntering tones of Roses More Than Water is a late highlight, with blasts of synths littering this vibrant track. Hanna is equally energetic as she shouts her way through yet another compelling number. The final track on Hit Reset compounds The Julie Ruin’s eclectic brilliance, from the harsh but honest to the delicacy of Calverton. It’s the perfect ending to this cacophony of effervescent electro pop. It’s Hanna at her rawest and most vulnerable, a truly endearing close to this exceptional album.

Whether it be fervent pop grooves or stark realism The Julie Ruin have truly found their sound on Hit Reset; playing off  its upbeat swagger against dark undertones. Her frank and sincere lyrics exude from every track, all while there is a relentless passion that emanates from the record. It’s this passion and angst that make Hit Reset the incredible album that it is. The Julie Ruin are truly firing on all cylinders, whilst Kathleen Hanna has once again proved why she is more than deserved of the title an influential figure.

The Julie Ruin can be found online here They’re also on Facebook and tweet as @TheJulieRuin.

All words by Lee Hammond. You can check out more work by Lee at his Louder Than War author’s archive, he also tweets as @Napzap.

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