Brace For Impact. An appropriate title for the latest record to come from She Makes War. Perhaps for other reasons than you might think. If you are expecting to hear face melting riffs, and thunderous drum and bass, well – what can I say? – that is not the kind of impact you need to brace for.
Now! That said, don’t be fooled. She Makes War can rock. The album opens with “Devastate Me” and it is fierce. Strong. There is an attitude there. An attitude that sticks its finger up to society. To the reliance on social media. To the importance of an online presence. To the inability to live in the real world. And that my friends, is the impact you are bracing for. The attitude.
From start to finish Brace For Impact has attitude in spades. And I couldn’t love more how She Makes War reclaims that female attitude. For too long if women stand up, have something to say, stick up for themselves and what they believe in – they are shut down with comments of it being “bratty attitude”, of just having a “bad attitude”. In this age where women are accused of liars when they are brave enough to face their attackers. Are accused of ruining a man’s life when they speak up about sexual harassment. Of being made to show no emotion for fear of being “too emotional”. We need strong female voices like She Makes War to help us reclaim the attitude. Reclaim our power. And continue to fight.
Brace For Impact may have a lot to say for itself. She Makes War may be one of the many female voices we need right now (Kim Boekbinder, Lauren Ruth Ward), but it is also just one hell of a good album. Brace For Impact is full ’90s alt-rock vibes, notably “Weary Bird,” “Love This Body”, “Hold On.” There is a vulnerability in songs like “Strong Enough” where we get some quality time with the piano, while Laura Kidd (She Makes War) gets all introspective on us. And even with all the ’90s love going on, there are some strong ’80s sounds shining through especially in “Fortify” with its sweet psychedelic synths.
Along with being both brutal and beautiful, Brace For Impact is honest. Throughout the record She Makes War sings about learning to accept yourself. Love yourself. Be happy in your own company. Understand that it is OK to miss someone. To have a broken heart. To lose friends. But also to know that none of those things mean the end. Like a true hero She Makes War lets us know that even when the quiet comes, we are strong. We are more than just the people we know. The places we go. We are important for the simple fact that we are who we are. We are strong and we all have the strength to carry on.
And that kind of honesty – is something you need to brace for.