Boomkat Product Review:
Obscure, primitivist art-pop and No Wave charms from a sharp-witted female trio outta NYC, 1982 - originally produced by Wharton Tiers (Theoretical Girls) and released by Glenn Branca’s Neutral Records after aiding in Y Pants’ eponymous 1980 debut. Facsimile reissue courtesy of Water Wing Records.
Revolving visual artist Virginia Piersol, filmmaker Gail Vachon and photographer Barbara Ess; Y Pants combined feminist poetics with economical instrumentation - toy piano, ukulele, Mickey Mouse drum kit and shitty FX - in playfully spiked and infectious grooves full of swooning choruses and dippy licks that deliver their politics in sharp pinches.
They were a fixture of Manhattan’s downtown scene, smartly compared with The Raincoats for those vocal harmonies and a predilection for spare but pointed, driving rhythms, which are best heard in the slompy slide of Obvious, set to a killer vocal hook “don’t be afraid to be boring” written by novelist and critic Lynne Tillman, or with an hypnotic, ‘up’-ness in the likes of Barbara’s Song or the headlong, Neu!-like momentum of We Have Everything, in Love’s A Disease’s lopsided disco-punk, and the strange, byzantine wiggle of What Do You take Me For.
If we’re going to single out any one part, though; it’s gotta be That’s The Way Boys Are, starting out as an ice cool, harmonised take down of the patriarchy that soon enough turns into a a trampling groove by way of erupting, hair-pulling screams.
A proper little dancefloor rocket, then.