Raw and desperate, careening over cliffs, small hands on fire, trying furiously, tangled in bed sheets, dragging and retching, babies buried alive and clawing at their coffins, drunken wedding dresses covered in spiders, guilt, shame, sex, vomit, and Day-Glo. Listening to The Kissing Disease, the second album from this Minneapolis trio, is like getting run over by a feminist fire truck. Baby Guts howls their way through 14 songs in just under 30 minutes and hardly even come up to breathe. The dueling vocals of guitarist and lead vocalist Laura Larson and bassist Taylor Motari are frenetic and crazed, pounding forward unrelentingly, leaving the listener like a dumb founded Dean Moriarty, sweating, pulling at their hair, screaming and cheering, "Go! Go! Go!". When Larson wails, "This is not a beat we can die to / This is not the beat we'll survive to" you're going to have a hard time believing her. Lyrical themes that range from the war of the body, siamese twins, and the world's ugliest woman, The Kissing Disease stands its ground amongst it's foremothers in the great riot grrrl hall of fame.
Opening fire from the first track "Badmouth", a snotty and vitriolic punk rock stand-off, the album doesn't cease fire until the closing notes of a toy piano on "Cricket Lung". Drummer Rob Goswitz plays tight not always traditionally punk beats that give the album all the more dynamic and edge, hanging on to it's crashing momentum by the hair the whole way through. Not content with merely reinventing the wheel, The Kissing Disease smashes it to pieces. Blending the energy of sheer punk rock with the best of grunge, adding a riot grrrl whiplash and to top it all off the "Best Female Vocalist in Minneapolis" (City Pages 2008). In the end you are left with an album that sounds as if it could be the soundtrack to the life of an ugly ballerina who breaks both her legs, cuts off all her hair, and then sets herself on fire on her wedding day. Which trusts me, is just as awesome as it sounds.