The Dishrags Four LP

Part two of Supreme Echo’s reissue campaign for Vancouver-via-Victoria punks the DISHRAGS comes a decade after 2014’s Three LP (which collected recordings from 1978 and 1979) and picks up the story in 1980, the final year of the band’s existence. The DISHRAGS’ reputation as one of the first all-female punk bands in North America (if not the first) generally precedes them, but what is so often lost in that narrative is that they were also one of the earliest Canadian punk bands, full stop—they started out as high school teens in 1976 and literally played the first punk show ever in Vancouver! Absolute legends. Four gathers a number of demos and live tracks previously unavailable on vinyl, along with the three songs from the group’s swan-song Death in the Family EP, and although the DISHRAGS didn’t undergo any dramatic stylistic shifts during their brief run, there’s a streak of artful introspection in this later material that wasn’t as evident in the snotty and sneering first-wave-influenced punk of the years covered on Three. The economical instrumental scrappiness and personal/poetic lyrical outlook in tracks like “You Fit the Picture” and “Silence” recalls fellow late ’70s/early ’80s Pacific Northwest femme-punks NEO BOYS, while the more revved-up rippers like “Beware of Dog” and “Carry On” have the DISHRAGS careening out of the gate in an almost Dangerhouse-ish fashion (think DILS/BAGS). It’s killer!