– composed of Veronica Ortuño, Elizabeth Skadden (a former Chronicle
intern), Erin Budd, and Stephanie Chan – is a sight to behold live, switching instruments after every song (which are typically less than a minute long), screaming unintelligible lyrics about manatees and pregnancy, and generally sounding like the Slits screwed and chopped through helicopter blades. (Multitasking is not a problem: Three of the four are also in the Sixties girl group the Carrots, from which FP was birthed.) They’re part of a girl punk revival (which could include San Antonio’s Girl in a Coma; L.A.’s Mika Miko; Portland, Ore’s New Bloods; and Philly’s Bad News Bats; among others) that’s born of the white-hot fire of both Olympia, Wash., 1991 and England 1979.
"I don't know that much about riot grrrl, but I feel like the new crop of bands takes more from the art-rock girl bands of the late Seventies/early Eighties than maybe riot grrrl did," Skadden says. “Bands like We've Got a Fuzzbox, Pink Military, Pink Section, I.U.D., Student Nurse, the Slits, Lilliput, Inflatable Boy Clams, Reversible Chords, the Foams
"I definitely believe that riot grrrl is relevant to culture today," Ortuño adds. “I think some people hear the term and get the wrong idea of what it stands for. It's like an automatic notion that it's 'anti-males' or something. There are a lot of males who support the idea of 'pro-female' as a form of expression. A lot of my personal influences are predominantly female musicians, but my idea for Finally Punk is to learn my instrument and have fun with my friends. If I had to put it any way, I see us more as an existential punk band fronted by women."
Still, humor is a big part of the punkistentialists' repertoire, as heard on the baffling thrash of “Missile” (a song whose chorus – "What the fuck, Missile? What the fuck?" – has been sung to me on three separate occasions when I mention the band) and the jam "Boyfriend Application."
"I made up that term randomly when I wrote the song and then found out that back in the days of chat rooms and MakeOutClub.com, there really were such things,” Skadden recalls. “Who knew?”
She goes on to say the questions could include, "Do you have a job?" and, "Are you 30 and working in a coffee shop?"
Finally Punk take off for a Midwest/West Coast tour in early June, and the mixtape will be in full effect.
"Last summer we jammed several mixtapes that Catherine from [tourmates] Kiosk made. That's where I first learned about that Aretha Franklin song 'I Idolize You,’” Skadden recalls. “Bikini Kill and Bratmobile keep me awake on overnight drives. The other girls are really into Mariah Carey for some reason, so we are probably in for some more Mariah Carey sing-alongs, which is my own personal hell, but they really enjoy."
Catch Finally Punk tonight at Beerland with the Strange Boys and Olympia's Old Haunts, as well as a Tuesday night house party with the Silver Daggers and Total Abuse, 2515 Pearl St.