‘Too Many Creeps’ ~ The Story of Feminist Punk (Pitchfork)

Pitchfork Staff: “The Story of Feminist Punk in 33 Songs From Patti Smith to Bikini Kill, the songs that have crushed stereotypes and steered progress

Excerpt – “BUSH TETRAS ~ ‘Too Many Creeps’ Gestated in dark clubs and cramped DIY spaces, New York’s no wave movement wasn’t just an oddball response to the macho energy of the previous decade’s punk scene. It marked a palpable shift in rock circles in the city and beyond, and became a hotbed for the musical expression of feminist ideals. Sonic Youth and Lydia Lunch are frequently credited with pushing its postmodernism into the spotlight, but due is also owed to Bush Tetras, the freak-funk outfit formed by guitarist Pat Place (a founding member of the no wave icons the Contortions).

Bush Tetras occupied an uneasy new space, balancing spry bass and guitar with singer Cynthia Sley’s deadpan, frequently political mantras. Their biggest hit, “Too Many Creeps,” was a funky rebuttal to street harassment. “I just don’t wanna go out in the streets no more,” Sley insisted airily, “because these people give me the creeps.” Her lyrics laid bare a sense of exhaustion all too familiar to most women—who hasn’t been the target of a wolf whistle or undressing glance? Coupled with the dancey arrangement, Sley’s monotonous tone signaled that within the Tetras’ newly staked safe space, misogyny wasn’t a threat: it was just a boring, predictable damper on the party. Like the rest of their peers, this band was over it.” –Zoe Camp


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