Civet-01Civet was, at first, an all-female American punk rock band from Long Beach, CA, with core members Ms. Liza Graves (guitar, vocals) and Suzi Homewrecker (guitar, backing vocals). Now, apparently, Civet is Liza, Suzi, and two dudes. They describe themselves as “femme fatale punk rock.”Civet-02 Civet’s music has been compared to the music of The Distillers and Bikini Kill. I definitely hear The Distillers in Civet’s music, but Brody Dalle has a much stronger voice and crafts better melodies. But, Liza has a great voice, too, and Civet has just enough melody, crafting more with each release. And, even though Civet isn’t a riot grrrl band, the Bikini Kill tag, sound-wise, is fitting, too. Liza and Suzi have said that “their biggest influence and inspiration comes from The Runaways.” OK, inspiration, maybe, but, Civet’s sound isn’t much like Joan Jett’s influential all-girl band. Civet, however, has toured with So-Cal punk rockers Social Distortion (as well as Dropkick Murphys and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones), and bands are asked to tour with other bands for a reason. In this case, Civet does, in fact, sound a lot like a female-fronted version of Social D.

Civet-Hell HathHell Hath No Fury, released in 2008, is actually Civet‘s third album, the first with indie label Hellcat Records, and the first, by this band, that matters (to me). This release is just dripping with snotty girl punk. Tracks like “Alibis”, “Son of a Bitch”, “Brooklyn”, “Take Me Away”, “You Don’t Know Me”, and the title track get all up in your face and demand your attention. But, be sure, at least, to listen to “All I Want”. If you don’t think that song sounds like Social Distortion, then I can only assume that you’ve never heard Social Distortion. This album had to grow on me, but, now that it has, I return to it often. Watch the beach party inspired video for the single “Son of a Bitch” here:

Civet’s most recent album, Love & War (2011), their fourth, is even better than Hell Hath No Fury, and sets the bar high for the next release. But, I have high hopes. This album is anchored by three killer tracks: “L.A. Nights”, “Love & War”, and “Come On (I Wanna Be Your Girl)”. Both “L.A. Nights” and “Love & War” drive home the Social D comparison, especially “Love & War”.Civet-Love I can almost hear Mike Ness singing this track. Well, you know, except for the line, “I always went for the bad boys.” But, this is Civet’s track, and Liza’s snotty vocals kick Mike’s nasally rasp in the ass! The third track, “Come On (I Wanna Be Your Girl)”, wears a different influence proudly on its sleeve, that of American proto-punkers The Stooges. Civet takes and embellishes the riff of their 1969 classic “I Wanna Be Your Dog” (one of my favorite songs!), and speeds it up. But, Civet’s song is driven by its own melody and chorus. “Come on! Come on!” Liza sings, until she briefly adds, “I wanna be your girl” to the tune of “I Wanna Be Your Dog” (but, faster). But, wait, there’s more! “Reap What You Sow” sounds a little like it actually was influenced and inspired by The Runways. And, “Sunset Strip” is a cool track, as are the punkers “Summer of Hate” and “I’m Not The One”, the poppy “Buy My Love”, The Animals-ish ballad “It’s The Truth”, and the Ramones-y rocker “Go Underground”. Watch the video for “You Get What You Pay For” here (but know that it is one of the weaker tracks on the disc):

Civet-002Civet-001Civet-03Civet Discography
2000 – Beauty Kills [EP]
2001 – Grace Land [Album]
2003 – Civet [Album]
2005 – Massacre [Album]
2008 – Hell Hath No Fury (Hellcat Records) [Album]
2011 – Love & War (Hellcat Records) [Album]

5 responses to “Civet

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  4. Pingback: Civet « Girls, Guns & Zombies!·

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