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Songs We Love: Thunderbitch, 'Wild Child'

Thunderbitch's self-titled debut album is out now.
Courtesy of the artist
Thunderbitch's self-titled debut album is out now.

"Thunderbitch. Rock 'n' Roll. The end."

Thus reads the bio for the band Brittany Howard fronts when not leading the formidable Alabama Shakes through their paces. And it's pretty on-point. Also featuring members of two Nashville groups – homegrown psych-rockers Fly Golden Eagle and Brooklyn transplants Clear Plastic Masks – Thunderbitch gets in your face with straight-up, raw rock and roll that ain't messing around.

With little fanfare, the band released its debut full-length via its "Thunderstore" this past Friday, but this is not the first we've heard from Thunderbitch. More than two years ago, the group put out "I Don't Care" and "My Baby Is My Guitar," both of which appear on the album. Yet aside from a couple of one-offs at East Nashville dives, Thunderbitch has remained largely dormant since. Until now.

Thunderbitch, <em>Thunderbitch</em> (self-released)
/ Courtesy of the artist
Courtesy of the artist
Thunderbitch, Thunderbitch (self-released)

"Wild Child" is one of the standouts: a chugging, rattling garage-rock stomper that clocks in at under two minutes. Howard turns Aretha on her head, snarling the line "I don't need no R-E-S-P-E-C-T," leaving no doubt as to who's taking care of business. She growls, sputters and howls, pauses for breath and...is off again at full tilt, daring you to follow. Meanwhile, the band's right on the heels of her leather boots, grinding out wonderfully sloppy rockabilly guitar riffs against greasy organ.

It's a southbound train barreling off the tracks somewhere around Sun Studio —an anthem for women who don't need permission to get no-good, out-of-control, or just plain ugly. And boy, do I want that logo on a raglan T-shirt.

Thunderbitch is out now.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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