Essential New Music: Alice Bag’s “Alice Bag”

AliceBag

Alice Bag first came roaring to prominence as the feminist wraith fronting the Bags, one of the dozens of now-legendary bands—alongside the likes of the Germs, X and the Weirdos—to emerge from Los Angeles’ original punk palace, the Masque. Her first solo LP in a 40-year career is as diverse as it is good, and plenty of Bagsian punk fury (“Little Hypocrite,” “Modern Day Virgin Sacrifice”) is in evidence.

But you also get a flash or two of her Mexican roots (“Inesperado Adios”). Bag almost commits artistic premature ejaculation from the start, leading with the LP’s best track, “He’s So Sorry.” Very cleverly turning noted woman abuser Phil Spector’s wall of sound against bad boyfriends everywhere, Bag creates the inverse of Spector’s own sick classic “He Hit Me And It Felt Like A Kiss.” Every “but I love him” excuse is subverted into a pop masterpiece.

—Tim Stegall