With a name that appears to be a partial homage to Riot Grrrl, and a self-identified genre of ‘First Wave Gurrlcore’, you would be forgiven for thinking this duo from Berlin are mining a seam of Bikini Kill and Sleater Kinney influences. But Gurr aren’t entirely concerned with ‘Girls To The Front’ or ‘Revolution Girl Style Now’; instead, latest video ‘#1985’ finds them fashioning an energetic indie-pop sound whilst turning a critical eye to a certain breed of over-the-hill scenester and Snapchat enthusiast.
Having met in an American Studies class, it’s appropriate that Gurr’s sound is evocative of a series of American groups from different decades. They cite The B-52s and The Ramones in interviews, but have also added aspects of new wave LA pop-rock outfit The Bangles, New York anti-folk superstars The Moldy Peaches and Seattle pop-punk group Tacocat into the mix for the songs on debut album In My Head. Away from the American influence, however, there’s also a C86 element that’s particularly reminiscent of British indie-pop faves The Shop Assistants.
Gurr are, most definitely, a Berlin band, though: making bouncy fun non-ironic pop, albeit with a cutting, cynical and slightly weary edge. The lyrics in ‘#1985’, in particular, with its pointed description of the lonely guy who says he “had to turn 30 before I became this cool” whilst looking for “underage drinking and fucking around” could be an appropriate description for many denizens in the kneipes around Neukölln.
All of which really only leaves one question unanswered: if this is only the First Wave of Gurrlcore – what comes next?
With their debut album set for release in October, Gurr are heading off to SXSW next month, and will be playing The Great Escape over here on 18 May.