Review: Summer Cannibals Barrel Through on ‘Full of It’

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Call it a leap, a bound, a 10-point vault, Summer Cannibals are taking the reigns with the release of their third full-length, Full of It, out now via Kill Rock Stars. After having released their first two albums on their own New Moss Records label, the band couldn’t have chosen a better fit for their female-fronted powerhouse riffs, joining the likes of Bikini Kill and Sleater-Kinney on the new imprint.

The comparison to those fearless lady-led bands shouldn’t be overlooked in guitarist/vocalist Jessica Boudreaux, as the last thing she does is mess around. On lead single “Go Home,” there’s a wavering guitar line that will instantly throw your body off balance in the best of ways, and you get a taste of Boudreaux’s dynamo power and smart-as-a-whip lyricism. The production value – courtesy of Chris Woodhouse (Thee Oh Sees, Wild Flag) – om FOI has clearly stepped things up a notch for the band.

“Say My Name” is instantly catchy, a swingy surf-rock vibe working its way into the frantic punk fuzz until it’s almost a pop song. But don’t worry, there are still sharp-ass teeth here, and SC don’t let it ever get too cute. Whether they’re slaying a dysfunctional relationship or the cultural climate, the badassery is bountiful, with dirty garage riffs to match.

Between the throwback rhythmic guitar work and the incessant deep-end beats, at an average of about three minutes, each track is a tight package of editing and control, while never really feeling bound. “Full of It” lets loose both in a lyrical slaying of the media, and a fiercely applied instrumentation. Boudreaux’s voice goes from airy to scorching at the drop of a hat, as evidenced on “The Lover,” that is at once sweet and sardonic.

And then in the vein of compatriots like the patriarchy-smearing Tacocat, the cutting goes further on “Talk Over Me” with sneering jabs like “I’m not a bitch/it’s just preference/I’d rather not be harassed.” Layer it back-to-back with the self-aware, “It feels just the same/and I always let you in/even though I know you’re a waste…” of “Make Up” and you can see just how sharp Boudreaux’s songwriting has become. The album as a whole is so ferocious it’s hard to turn off, a collection of spitting, infections tracks that feel cohesively thought out.

(You can purchase Full of It via Summer Cannibals’ Bandcamp page, and stream “Go Home” below.)

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