When you get a CD case with a half-naked blonde girl in a metallic purple bikini sitting on a Vic Firth drum set that's been adorned with pink and black graffiti, you take a second to give it a listen. Striking similarly sexy poses within the CD case is Shiragirl, one word.
Scream! Spit! Sing! sports the single "Stomp it Out," which pairs Shiragirl and her no-holds-barred image with New Orleans rap legend Lil' Wayne. One would expect a hip-hop album. Not so. Instead, she is known for crashing her pink RV through the gates of Warped Tour in 2004 and an impromptu performance from which to pump her all-girl punk-rock sound.
Not that Scream! Spit! Sing! could be called just punk. Rather, it incorporates some strictly punk guitar work, but throws on the occasional screaming by Shiragirl herself, including upbeat drums and bass, and the rap tag-team with Wayne, which appears out of nowhere as a single. Essentially, the message is one of anti-establishment, hard partying and-in your-face badassery.
For the most part, she works the image. It's in the execution that things are a little more bubblegum. With songs like "Scars," "Days" and "Roll w/Tha Crew," it all feels very melodramatic, the kind of stuff that you see angsty 13-year-old girls scribble on their binders in math class. "Terrorist" is particularly hard to relate to because it's unclear if it is an anti-war political statement: "It's your way / or no way / 'cuz you're a terrorist" makes it sound more like a metaphorical equation of the heart. "New Crush" almost channels Mindless Self Indulgence-like insanity but reverts back to middle school with "I stare at your pictures / all on Facebook ... got me by the mouth / just like a fish on a hook." If the attempt is to empower women by saying "we can do punk too," this doesn't do it.
Songs about crushes and boys just don't jive with the punk attitude. Not that it's all bad. Some of the songs are indicative of a sophomoric attempt but could become a more matured variant on punk. Shiragirl just needs to find a more serious way to scream, spit and sing.