Riot Grrrl. A classic genre so distinct that the name itself leaves little need for definition. These days, the artists who once paved the way have inspired a new generation of grungy, femme-punk rock stars who have been pioneering the indie rock scene. In many ways, Riot Grrrl is as much as a feeling as it is a sound. So here are 50 contemporary riot grrl tracks that will make you want to smash your ex’s windshield and send the pictures to their fucking mom. Listen along while you read the list.
Mannequin Pussy “Control”
The queens of the modern day femme punk movement themselves, naturally Mannequin Pussy is at the start of this list. A song about imploring yourself that you’re in control even when you’re not, this track will really imbue the rage hidden deep within you. “Something’s in your eyes” Yeah, it’s the shards of glass and steel as you take that baseball bat to your ex’s Honda.
The Courtneys “90210”
Chanting, beautiful waterfront imagery and angst, all the trappings of a perfect riotgrrl tune. Employ this banger as a self care ritual and you will suddenly be feeling like the thought of committing criminal mischief may be truly healing.
Nanami Ozone “Desire”
Desire can mean many things. Love, lust, taking a fucking handaxe to every smashable thing your ex owns and holds dear. In this case, desire will induce feelings of violence and rage.
Dude York “Love Is”
A true anthem. Love is amazing. Love is horrible. Love is…complicated. A song about toxic love, “Love Is” will fuel your toxic lust for violence.
Guerilla Toss “Betty Dreams of Green Men”
Invoking the spirit of the classic Riotgrrls of yore, Guerilla Toss’ “Betty Dreams of Green Men” is a chaotic disarray of vibes. This is the sort of tune that will jumble your brain so badly you’ll be madly digging through the pantry for that hatchet you bought from Home Depot “in case of emergency.”
Wednesday “Bull Believer”
A dark and brooding song by the current sweethearts of the indie world, Bull Believer devolves into a turbulent mess of distorted wrath. With heavy, head banging hypnotics, by the third chant of Street Fighter’s “Finish Him,” you’ll start feeling the rage of Chun-Li herself with no game over in sight.
Retirement Party “Passion Fruit Tea”
We drank the tea that fills you existential dread and everyone knew you there. A “woe is me” anthem complete with the perfect breakdown that will make you want to warm up your body by smashing a few bottles before moving in for the coup de grace.
This song is, by no over-exaggeration, a fucking ragefest that will fuel the fury of a thousand suns.
The Beths “Uptown Girl”
A breakup anthem of the century and at its core, a drinking song. This is the kind of tune that will have you calling his phone and slurring all your 4-letter words. You’ll be wanting to do a few shots to this one before turning the rest of that bottle of whiskey into a Molotov cocktail.
Slow Pulp “Cramps”
“Cramps” is one of those rare songs that perfectly captures the misery of having ovaries in true riot grrrl fashion. And of course, as we know, few things make you want to smash the things of those who’ve hurt you than rotting away in bed with a terrible bout of cramps.
Pretty Sick “Allen Street”
This droning, grungy tune touts the advice, “nothing’s gonna last forever.” And honestly? Cars don’t either. So you’re really just getting ahead of the curve. He’ll thank you later when he’s groveling at your feet for forgiveness.
Insignificant Other “heathers”
A song about spiraling into caffeine-fueled self-destruction, one must admit the thrill of the beautiful chaos an extra large cold brew can diffuse. “heathers” will encourage you to play drinking games with macchiatos. And who knows how many it’d take for those espresso shakes to produce some breathtaking baroque designs using a key and that once beloved passenger side door as your medium.
Taco Cat “I Hate the Weekend”
Schedule your week right and he’ll be repeating the title of this song while he cries to his mommy on the phone Monday morning. After discovering the carnage on his way to work, he’ll need all the help he can get explaining why he’s late to his boss.
Bleached “For the Feel”
If it’s not for anything else at all, destroying your ex’s most expensive and prized possession is all about the feel after all, isn’t it? Yeah, you did it for the feel. The police report will love that.
Gustaf “Best Behavior”
Everyone’s always pressuring everyone to be noble. Be the bigger person. Be on your best fucking behavior. But this song begs the question after all you’ve been through, “Maybe fucking some shit up is your best behavior?”
Great Grandpa “Teen Challenge”
Grungy, driving guitars that devolve into group vocals, “Teen Challenge” is the type of tune that’ll make you feel like all your friends are there cheering you on. And what’s friendship for if not to be there through the shattered glass fantasies because what good pal wouldn’t?
Sour Windows “Witness”
Drony, ambient, hypnotic. This one will really inspire you to listen to the devil on your shoulder. As you decide which direction your metaphorical blinker will go, you might as well end up just smashing in the headlights altogether.
Daddy Issues “In Your Head”
Let’s face it, a song whose first lyrics are “fuck you forever” will really make you lust after how you can achieve that sentiment in real-time. Daddy Issues will make you get out of your head and into the violent wilds of the night.
Suzy Shin “Junk Food”
The singular release from artist Suzy Shin, this is a track guaranteed to fuel your creativity. Go to the 711 and go fucking wild. A 2-liter bottle of Coke? Ice cream? I mean what would feel better than dousing that fucker in a gas station slushy?
Gobbinjr “bb gurl”
Perhaps the most adorably subdued on the list, “bbgirl” by Gobbinjr invokes the true spirit of riot grrrl. A simply cathartic listen, this would really accent the feeling of destroying expensive property in a fairy tale sort of way.