Tobi Vail is 1/3 of girlSperm aka gSp (listen to their 12″)
One of the most exciting punk reunions of 2017 was when Bikini Kill briefly reunited at The Raincoats’ show at The Kitchen to play one song together, their first time playing together in two decades. We knew Kathleen Hanna and Kathi Wilcox have been busy together in The Julie Ruin, but what we admittedly didn’t know at the time was that Tobi Vail has been active in a new band too. She’s one third of gSp (aka girlSperm), who released 12″ on Thrilling Living this past fall. It caught my eye when Evan Minsker included it on his list of the 10 best garage punk albums of 2017 for Pitchfork. Here’s an excerpt of what he wrote:
All hail girlSperm, the new punk trio comprised of three venerable vets: Tobi Vail (from Bikini Kill), Layla Gibbon (who’s been in a bunch of bands and worked at Maximum Rocknroll), and Marissa Magic (from Wet Drag, Stillsuit, and more). Their debut is defined by its dueling guitars, shouted gang vocals, and duh, Tobi fucking Vail. It’s a record where power comes from shouting about disappointment (“WHAT DO WE WANT? TOTAL LIBERATION! WHAT DO WE GOT? A TOTAL DRAG!”) and slipping into “social death.”
gSp were also interviewed by Katie Alice Greer of Priests. The whole thing is worth reading, and here’s an excerpt of Marissa talking about the band’s sound:
I’ve heard people describe us as a band that sounds like “Tobi, Layla, and Marissa playing music together” and I think that describes it pretty well. The song writing is extremely collaborative and pretty much all of our lyrics are just sentences picked out of conversations the three of us had together, or movies that we’ve watched together, things like that. It feels very much like a documentation or manifestation of us hanging out.
The album description on Bandcamp also adds “like Y-PANTS playing FLIPPER songs, or vice-versa,” and I’ll add that if you like Bikini Kill but haven’t heard gSp yet, you will probably be very pleased. Stream the whole album below.