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June 21, 2024

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The Gits
Enter: The Conquering Chicken [re-issue] (Broken Rekids Records)

By: Scott D. Lewis

When The Gits' singer Mia Zapata was raped and murdered on the streets of Seattle in 1993, the planet lost a true individual and rock lost one of it's most visceral and vital voices. The band's second album, Enter: The Conquering Chicken was nearly completed when the senseless tragedy unfolded and it cut short what most certainly have been a brilliant run for the influential band. While getting your hands on the original vinyl release could cost you a month's rent (and putting your hands on mine will buy you a permanent subterranean residence), it's been re-released with additional tracks (and one omitted, oddly) as well as seven live songs recorded in lovely Portland. Over a decade later, this music is just as original, fresh, riveting and at times just plain fun as it was back in the day (as the old kids say). The added tracks are especially interesting and attest to The Gits' purity of purpose and ability. The two bonus studio tracks, "I'm Lou" and "New Fast One," both storm around at breakneck speed, powered by flesh-shredding guitars and firecracker drums. Then there's Zapata's whiskey-and-Luckys-for-breakfast voice...wise, warning and weathered...playing a dangerous game of chase with the music; sometimes getting in front of it and teasing it along, and sometimes sliding just behind it and giving it a firm kick in the butt. All I'm going to say about the live tracks, nicely recorded at the legendary X-Ray Cafe, is that they are stunning and they fill me with regret for not being able to see The Gits shred up the stage. When Mia Zapata's life was stolen, we all lost.
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