Almost exactly two years ago Bratakus entered our consciousness when we caught them opening for Tuff Love. Our review of that show was their first published review and they’ve been no stranger to these pages since. One notable appearance was as part of our 10 Underground Feminist Punk Bands Making A Noise feature which was shared by none other than Kathleen Hanna, much to the thrill of all involved.
Watching Bratakus evolve over those two years has been riveting. Endless gigging has bred confidence, particularly through Onnagh who initially appeared to be playing bass to help her sister Breagha out but who’s vocals and presence now makes the band an imposing duo. Their admirable DIY spirit deserves respect and has now resulted in the release of their debut album Target Grrrl on their own Screaming Babies Records label.
The album itself is everything you could possibly want if you’re already familiar with Bratakus. It captures their live show perfectly. It’s irate for the irritated, furious for the infuriated, exuberant for the enthusiastic, spirited for the tireless and it’s all wrapped up in a 100mph grenade of explosive buzzing guitars and screeching vocals. If they’re new to you you’re in for a punk / hardcore treat.
Guitarist / vocalist Bregha Cuinn kindly took the time to tell us about each track on the album. Listen along. Links below will allow you to buy this album immediately. You deserve it and Bratakus deserve your support. Here’s Breagha:
The first song on the album is Cyber Queen. It’s about a cool digital artist I discovered who makes art and videos about being a girl, creating stuff alone in her bedroom. I thought it was a cool thing to highlight that the stuff you make in your bedroom just for yourself is still valid art. Kind of like Kathleen Hanna’s solo album Julie Ruin where she recorded it all in her bedroom and played all the instruments herself. It’s very lo-fi sounding and in a great way it does sound like it was recorded in a bedroom, but she said she released it because she wanted to encourage other girls who were making music in their bedrooms to not be afraid to put their music out there.
No More Love Songs
This was a stupid song I wrote after being subjected to a day of Radio 2 at work one day. Every song was just another boring love song probably not even written by the artist and no one was actually saying anything or talking about anything important. Obviously I think people should be able to write/sing about what they want, but it just seemed like these songs were being sung because that’s what would make a ‘popular song’.
I Know Nothing
This is one of the two songs from our EP Gigantopithecus that we re-recorded for our album. It’s about arguing with people who have bigoted opinions who try and make you feel like an idiot for questioning them.
This is a very old song. I wrote it when I was about 14. It’s about people who pretend that nothing bad is happening in the world. They say that a problem doesn’t exist if it’s not directly affecting them. It’s also about people who do know what’s going on, but still contribute to the problems and don’t try and help to find solutions.
Another very old song! It’s about people who are very dissatisfied with their lives and how they’ve turned out, but bury it so deep down they don’t realise there’s a problem. They can’t help themselves because they don’t know why they’re feeling like they do.
It’s about the state of the world and how some people just seem to accept that people in power do horrific things and that the world is being destroyed and just say ‘That’s how the world is, we can’t change it’.
Contrary to popular belif, this song is not about actual pollution. It’s actually a (not very clear) metaphor for the lies and fear that politicians spread polluting people’s minds.
Open Your Eyes
Yet another song about people ignoring all the terrible things going on and just doing what they’re told. I feel like a lot of people just choose not to look into stuff because they’d rather just act like they didn’t know about all the problems with the world so they don’t have to change the way they act. We always joke about how this is the subject of most of our songs though!
I wrote this song because I heard a lot of people saying that they knew animals were treated badly, but they were really greatful for the sacrifce that they made so they could eat meat. As if animals willingly give themselves to the slaughterhouse because they know some people think they’re so tasty they couldn’t possibly live without eating them. I just thought it was a ridiculous argument.
This is the final track and other song we re-recorded from our EP. It was actually the first song of mine that we ever programmed drums for and played as a Bratakus song. There’s a video of us playing it in my bedroom when we first started the band and that was the only thing we had to let people hear what we sounded like. We did actually get quite a few gigs just from that little video though which is strange cause when I watch it back now it’s very poor indeed! It’s also another one I wrote when I was 14/15. It’s about dreaming, I was a bit obsessed with writing songs about dreaming when I was younger and I have no idea why. When we were in the studio recording this I was really nervous and when we got home I realised I’d sung one of the lyrics in the verse wrong and I had to go back in and re-record it!
Target Grrrl by Bratakus is available on vinyl for the ridiculously cheap sum of £10 so you owe it to yourself to buy it. CD available too. Try here
If a download is your thing check out the Bratakus bandcamp