As I’m writing this article, I have a throbbing headache, my entire body aches, and I would like nothing more that to have a nice and gentle cuddle with a tender, beautiful, and sweet female vocalist. A Joanna Newsome to lull me to sleep would be nice. I could go for a Mariee Sioux to make me swoon or maybe The Finches would be nice to keep me at home in bed. But instead, I have Laura Larson of Baby Guts and her album “The Kissing Disease” released by Guilt Ridden Pop; I don’t feel very comfortable alone with this woman and that’s why I love her so.
She couldn’t care less that I have a headache because she isn’t here to find a man and make him feel good. She is a seriously independent woman, not the kind you’ll find on Craigslist’s “women seeking men section” under the disingenuous title “Independent woman seeks man with sense of humor.” Baby Guts, which translates to “infant courage,” doesn’t only label the idea of a woman with few ideas as cute, it shatters its kneecaps in broad daylight while the rest of the world walks away uncomfortably, pretending not to notice.
“The Kissing Disease,” which is the outfit’s first full-length release, is a half-hour-long scream session that extends an impressive middle finger to my headache and my wanting a soft-spoken woman to take care of me when I’m sick. She takes back everything I thought was given to me with the track “Fire Truck Vagina” shouting “Live in my house, live by my rules.” She isn’t some hysterical girl upset because her man doesn’t take care of her, she is an angry woman infuriated that a man thinks he understand anything about her and she isn’t going to take it. What I want or need doesn’t matter anymore, my damage has been done, I’ve burned all my bridges and it’s time for me to stop.
As a whole, the album is more than a two-bit punk band that just blindly punches at things that make them angry or at things they don’t understand. She knows and believes in what she’s singing and not some dumb parrot regurgitating a stale mantra from her female punk predecessors. She stands out in a world of typically adorable women as the winner of the City Pages best female vocalist. Her backing band, two gentlemen actually, set the tempo with bass, drums, and even screams that at no point overpower or intimidate our young heroine.
This is why I love this band. It features a woman who absolutely rejects my parasitic need for her and offers nothing but a complete disregard for me and my well-being; I just want to numb my pain with her abuse.
Jack LaPorte is a Mustang Daily music columnist.