Kathleen Hanna helped pioneer the "riot grrrl" movement during the early '90s in the group Bikini Kill, which melded feminist politics with punk-rock fury. Since disbanding Bikini Kill in 1998 and founding Le Tigre, she's sort of come full circle. Certainly, Le Tigre's music is of a different ilk. While there's still a bit of punkish crush in its attack, the pop sensibilities seem equally salient. Quirky, New Wave rhythms drive the songs on the wheels of hummable hooks, reinforced by the clickety-clack of drum machine programming, which contributes to the raw, amateurish energy of the band's albums. Le Tigre's provisional membership in the once-burgeoning electroclash movement probably is what encouraged Universal to sign the group to a deal, because while its new album, This Island, is the perfect example of its craft, that doesn't mean it's particularly radio-ready. It is punchy and catchy, with a strong dance undercurrent, and an improvement on the last album, Feminist Sweepstakes, with everything just that much more focused and attuned. But a major label still feels like a strange bedfellow for such an openly counterculture act.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Phoenix, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.