She Drew the Gun – Behave Myself
Wirral’s She Drew the Gun, aka Louisa Roach, and her backing band, Sian Monaghan, Jack Turner, Jenni Kickheffer, are angry.
And there’s a lot to be angry about if, like Roach, you are a proudly socialist, feminist musician from an unprivileged background: you’ve seen persistent inequality, plus the misogyny exposed by #MeToo – and to top it all off there’s the fear that in your old age, the planet will be burning up.
Her third album, Behave Myself, is very much a howl of rage against those things, but begins in more oblique fashion with Origin Song. It’s a promising start that combines disorientating synths, a killer distorted riff, and Roach’s dislocated, wandering vocals.
Next on the List is truer to the general form of the record, with its singer listing a string of gripes over a thumping warped beat. In some ways, it resembles the work of Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip, but lacks the hip-hop troubadour’s wit. That’s a recurring issue on Behave Myself, but one that’s absent from its title track – a delightfully brooding new wave-style indie anthem that combines deadpan delivery of a feminist cri de coeur with an uplifting chorus.
The more melodic and dreamy Diamonds in our Eyes follows, before Roach returns to punky revolt on Cut Me Down and Class War (How Much). Both are singles, and the former is the better of the two, mainly because Class War displays the element of the Behave Myself that’s less easy to get along with. There’s a maxim in screenwriting that one should “show not tell” and it’s one that should perhaps be adopted by socially conscious rockers. We often know what’s wrong, and directly hammering home the point is less effective and interesting than getting to the same place via abstract observation.
That said, She Drew The Gun’s frontwoman has more to her than many a ranter about the state of the nation, as she proves on the spacey, robotic Panopticon, and in the record’s more melancholic conclusion. All Roads to Nowhere’s lyrics may be close to indecipherable at times – but this is helpful in capturing a mood of passionate helplessness. Closer the Rose’s Tale’s claustrophobic introspection, meanwhile, betrays the album’s origins in lockdown.
Although imperfect, Behave Myself is clearly a work of passion, anger, truth and talent – but Roach is at her best when exploring her frustrations with the world via a more circuitous route.
Behave Myself is released on 8th October 2021. For further information or to order the album visit She Drew the Gun’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Behave Myself here: