Review: Bipolar Feminine :: A FRAGILE SYSTEM

Poo in the corner! The Austrians know that punk is not a matter of tempo.

When Leni Ulrich wants to write an optimistic song, it starts like this: “Welcome to the ground,” she greets everyone who wants to listen to her, while the rest of Bipolar Feminin patiently saw through all certainties with unadorned guitars: “Now you can go shit everything, shit in the corner, now there’s light again, let’s tear down the walls!” The galling continues on EIN FRAGILES SYSTEM, the debut album of the Austrian band.


“Miami” is a bitter confrontation with one’s own mother, which quickly turns into a nightmare in which one’s own demons rule, but actually, according to Ulrich, is not about mothers at all. “Tüchtig” is a nasty swan song to cynicism and selfishness masquerading as German industriousness. “Attractive products” is the meanest reckoning with capitalism that you can hear these days: “Everything has to go” rhymes Ulrich with “Life for free”, but the way she throws it up says more than any words.

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“It’s got a build up,” she sings, and yes, damn yes, you can hear that. Bipolar Feminine know that punk isn’t necessarily about speed and that anger is even meaner when it’s seemingly controlled. It’s not that Bipolar Feminin can’t be fast and loud like in “You talk so loud,” but they’re at their best, most haunting, when anger creeps through boredom like “Herr Arne,” a love letter to Tocotronic drummer Arne Zank: “First the school burns, then the bank / I’m going home, I feel relaxed.”