When people talk about the grunge scene in Seattle, they usually think of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains. A band that is lesser known but only second to Nirvana in my eyes is The Gits. The band are a bit more punky than the more well known grunge bands but were still part of the same scene.Their lead vocalist Mia Zapata actually hailed from a town called Lousiville in Kentucky which helps give the name to this compilation album that I think is the best introduction to the band a listener can have.
Mia Zapata died at the magical rock star age of 27, in Zapata's case it wasn't self-inflicted though, she was the victim of a tragic rape and murder at the hands of a Cuban immigrant back in 1993 when she was walking home one night, the murderer remaining a mystery for 10 years after.
It's easy to think of this tragic story when you're listening to the album and get carried away but I don't think the two should be related, it just happens that The Gits songs are heavy on songs about alcohol (Another Shot of Whiskey, Absynthe), death (Slaughter of Bruce, and struggling with life (Second Skin, Daily Bread)
Mia's a great vocalist, sure she tends to sing with a certain amount of rockish aggression but she also has a bluesy quality, a more sweeter side if you like. The Gits have some nice riffs courtesy of Andy Spleen and generally a sound reminiscent of earlier Californian punk bands but ultimately they are very much their own band.
Steve Moriarty is a hell of a drummer and bangs the skin with military precision, if I had a punk band I'd sign him up immediately. Bass player Matt Dresdner has less obvious input although he has a few decent bass lines on "While You're Twisting, I'm Still Breathing". I think one of the best qualities of the band is their ability to change direction quite spontaneously within a relatively short song.
As I said this album is a great introduction to the band, if you start to dig through the bands other albums, you'll notice more variation as the tracks on this compilation do seem a little similar to each other but if you want to familiarise yourself with this energetic band give it a go. "It Doesn't Matter" is my favourite track on the album, starting off with heavy feedback and a darkened aura before embracing a high tempo sound, the lyrics are superb and Mia Zapata completely nails it.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
4 Another Shot Of Whiskey
6 Slaughter Of Bruce
7 Precious Blood
8 While You're Twisting, I'm Still Breathing
10 Social Love
11 It Doesn't Matter
12 Kings And Queens
13 Wingo Lamo
14 Here's To Your Fuck
15 Second Skin
16 Daily Bread