PRINT September 1997


The Geraldine Fibbers

Partway through Butch, The Geraldine Fibbers’ second album, violinist Jessy Greene starts playing fiddle and the band shifts into classic country as husky-voiced frontwoman Carla Bozulich croons wearily “I'm going back to the place where folks like me are from.” Her cavernous voice, etched by rivers of regret and storms of sorrow yet never entirely bleak or humorless, has a prickly punk edge that tells you this isn’t the music of god’s country.

Bozulich comes from the seedy underbelly of the LA rock scene, emerging as the sex-demon frontwoman of the now-defunct techno group Ethyl Meatplow back in ’93 in the same place where desperate punks like X’s Exene Cervenka and John Doe or Chris D. of the Flesheaters sometimes followed their muses back to rock’s country roots. The Geraldine Fibbers began as something of a side project for Bozulich, but it’s grown into a lot more: a true home for a riveting voice that bristles with hard-won beauty and sadness, hope and despair. On Butch, her tough-girl vision is matched by the gnarled and dusty sound of a band fluent in Sonic Youth dissonance, punk urgency, and twangy Southern (dis)comfort—because for someone of Bozulich’s generation these are all roots musics.