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Album Review

Babes in Toyland's most focused and powerful statement, Fontanelle was vaguely associated with grunge upon its release, and tossed in with the Pacific Northwest-centered riot grrrl movement after the fact. In truth, it lies somewhere in between, its raw punkish fury and metallic grind making it the spiritual kin of L7. Fontanelle isn't necessarily explicitly feminist, since the glorious noise of rock & roll is viewed as the ultimate empowerment. And that noise is all over Fontanelle — it's arguably the harshest, most abrasive recording to come out of any part of the riot grrrl camp. Like L7, Babes in Toyland are more about pure sound than songs, but the similarities end there. Instead of just grinding away on simple power chords, Kat Bjelland's distinctive guitar work is full of intentionally grating dissonance, which is complemented by the jittery rhythm section. Vocally, Bjelland can move from a faux little-girl coo to a bellowing snarl in the space of one line; put together, all of this imbues Fontanelle with a terrifically explosive tension. Fittingly, the closing track features nothing but Bjelland, her guitar, and the sound of breaking glass bottles. Measured by any standard, Fontanelle is a frighteningly primal record, one whose sheer ferocity Babes in Toyland never quite captured this convincingly anywhere else.

Customer Reviews


this is probably the best babes album out there.

so underrated its not even funny

Am I the only 15 year old girl who listens to Babes in Toyland? Probably. This album is great its a must have. These girls really know how to rock out. Show em how its done ladies!

Best of the 90s

Best band and album ever! It is so emotional and full of power. It really shows the 90s in its prime. It is also amazing that it is an all female alt-rock band! Good job, I definitely recommend. P.S. Am I the only teenager that listens to them? I hope not. Everyone in all of the high schools should be jamming to this.


Formed: 1987 in Minneapolis, MN

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Babes in Toyland is about as harsh as rock music gets -- guitarist Kat Bjelland screams and thrashes her guitar to the gut-pounding, throttling beat of bassist Maureen Herman and drummer Lori Barbero. Over their two albums and two EPs, the all-female trio offers no escape from their strongly female-oriented, but not necessarily feminist, rock. Bjelland formed Babes in Toyland in 1987 in Minneapolis, after playing around San Francisco for several years in various bands which featured, at various...
Full Bio
Fontanelle, Babes In Toyland
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Customer Ratings