Fea is what my high school self imagined a punk rock band would be, and that's not a bad thing. I first learned of the San Antonio-based on NPR's alt.Latino, which I can't recommend highly enough. alt.Latino covers an impressive breadth of music and the presenters do an amazing job of highlighting the artists' processes and stances. For Fea, it's not hard to tell. They're fierce, blunt, political, rowdy, snarky. They're delivering their songs with a snarl but it's also a smile and dammit if they don't seem like the kind of people you want to hang out with.
Fea is a Spanish word for "ugly girl." The album continues the riot grrl tradition in all of the best ways -- it's easy to hear Kathleen Hannah's clipped yawps in Letty Fea's voice, but the mischievous spark is all her own. While many of the songs are in opposition to toxic masculinity in its many different forms -- in relationships, in being told how to dress, in being told how to look -- songs like "Feminiza" remind us why feminism is as relevant as it ever has been (even pre-Trump.) The intro to "Sister K" made me burst out laughing, even as it railed against the rigidity of Catholic school education and the ideology it espouses. "La Llorna" is a spine-tingling retelling of the popular folk story about a woman who drowned her sons to spite her philandering husband. I love the band's obvious thrill in combining punk, Latinx, and feminist identities. This is a band that is fiercely, unapologetically itself and gives strength to others who would do the same. I can't wait to see where they take it next.
Fea -- Official, Facebook, iTunes, Amazon