Babes In Toyland: Fontanelle 12"

Reprise Records


Fontanelle was a revelation on release in 1992, a caustic but compelling extrapolation of the dark side of the female psyche. With Maureen Herman taking over on bass from Michelle Leon, it upped the ante following Babes In Toyland's impressive but less cohesive debut, Spanking Machine. Kat Bjelland (the project's co-producer in tandem with Lee Ranaldo) is the perfect conduit for these abrasive songs, by turns cajoling and accusing. At times you can almost hear Bjelland's vocal chords disintegrate under the strain she puts on them ('Handsome Gretel'). That song is also typical of the Babes' nursery rhymes-gone-sour lyrical thematic. To sustain that intensity over 15 songs without ever descending into metal/punk cliche was quite an achievement.
Tags: 90s female-fronted grunge reissues