Today’s Song: On Their New Single “Ravenous Girl,” Arre! Arre! Sneer at Mainstream Beauty Standards

Arre! Arre! © Milkdrop Studios
A salacious disco beat and pounding punk guitars underline Arre! Arre!’s celebration of women and their sexuality on “Ravenous Girl.”
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Listen: “Ravenous Girl” – Arre! Arre!

Do yourself a favor and give Arre! Arre!’s new single “Ravenous Girl” a listen. I’ll see you in three minutes.

The single, a new one from the Malmö based quartet’s upcoming EP Heavy Breathing (releasing through Punk Slime Recordings on August 14th of this year), is at once the sweet catharsis of shameless existence and a turbulent manifesto indicating the social treatment of women who don’t conform to traditional beauty standards. Arre! Arre! directs their seething fury at a media, culture, and a consumption apparatus that lionizes, in the band’s words, how “fuckable” women are above all else. It’s a media culture that demands both ascetic disciplines in abstaining from pleasure yet profits off of hyper-consumption. Because of our culture’s myriad of weird sexual pathologies, this cruelty extends well beyond romance.

Ravenous Girl – Arre! Arre!

The absurdity of this contradiction would be easy to outline. Arre! Arre! however, ferocious punks as they are, decide to blast through it instead. They have only scorn for this paradigm, and “really being” for the band means becoming everything we’re told to hate – it’s a rebellion to existing as Arre! Arre! shout their confrontational deviancy, “I’m the biggest slut in town…I want my lust to spiral…I need some discipline, yes I do/So please whip me, whip me good.”

The cry for discipline comes out with a sneer. It could be a declaration of invincibility, that no matter what penance mainstream culture demands it will be ineffective, but more likely it’s an active subversion. “Ravenous Girl” makes numerous allusions to BDSM sexuality, a practice so maligned in mainstream culture that it’s often a lazy metaphor for evil, as with James Bond’s Xenia Onatopp, a cruel ex-Soviet spy that enjoys S&M sex. Enjoying it then is the most depraved rejection of the traditional morality imposed on women – and Arre! Arre! embrace this depravity with bombast.

Having released another single from Heavy Breathing in February, Arre! Arre! have this to say about the way media and culture treat women:

Society and the media often act as if a woman’s entire existence and self-image depend on how fuckable they are, according to a very narrow standard. We’ve had enough of it. Heavy Breathing is a celebration of women who make no excuses for their sexuality, their body, their lifestyle or their opinions. We want to champion female sexuality owned by women themselves. The sexuality that’s full of cellulites, laughter, self love and free will! Through our music we’re saying F*ck You to the media’s and societies distorted image of us. You do you. Literally – buy an sfp2 and make it rain.

Underneath it all is the salacious engine of a thrumming disco beat, a four-on-the-floor relentlessness with offbeat accents that pique the listener. Franz Ferdinand makes copious use of the beat as one of the best dance-rock acts of the 2000s, and there are shades of that ear for movement and kinesis in “Ravenous Girl.” Their guitars invoke the haze of psyche rock fused with the aggressive simplicity of traditional punk, a crunchy overdriven line driving the tune’s energy up throughout. Coupled with the womens’ give-no-fucks attitude, there’s no doubt that Arre! Arre! are one of the more exciting emerging punk acts of the moment.

After their initial delivery of the verse, the band drops down into a simmering intermezzo. The lead vocals on an endless repeat of “I’m a ravenous girl” that gets more and more unhinged, laid overtop angelic sighs that must be musical moans of pleasure. Drums and guitar with ramping intensity lead back into a driving disco beat.

Heavy Breathing is shaping up to be a promising summer release from Arre! Arre! Between the ferocity of “Ravenous Girl” and the cheeky (no pun intended) “Me and My Fat Ass Friends” with its bouncing bass that seems to emulate electronic dance bass, Arre! Arre! prove they have the finesse to put together an explosive EP with the right mix of audacity and cheer.

Listen: “Ravenous Girl” – Arre! Arre!

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