Girls can rock with the boys

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Girls can rock with the boys

Pat Haynes

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When you think of metal and punk music, typically men come to mind.

More often than not, the men are big, burly, bearded guys who shred away at their instruments and look like they live in cabins isolated from society.

The average person doesn’t typically think of women when those genres are mentioned. However, since the origins of the genres, women have played a part in keeping them afloat. One of the most popular punk acts of the eighties was Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, after all.

Here is a look at three girls in the metal and punk scenes of music who are not only easy on the eyes but fantastic musicians who are more than capable of holding their own in the male-infested genre.

1. Laura Nichol from Heartsounds

Nichol may not be the lead singer of the band (that role is filled by Ben Murray), but she is without a doubt the highlight of this heavily punk band.

The band’s sound is reminiscent of punk pioneers like NOFX and Hot Water Music. The heavy thrash of Nichol’s chords drives the rhythm of the band’s songs.

And when she sings – Oh boy.

While Murray’s vocals are gritty, Nichol flat out growls throughout every song she is featured in. It’s not often that a female’s voice over-powers a male’s when singing together, but Nichol does this admirably.

Check out “Don’t Talk With Your Mouth Open,” from the band’s album “Drifter.”

2. Jill Sullivan from The Paper Melody

This band is fairly under-the-radar still, but they are poised to blow up any minute now. The band has dual vocalists, with Sullivan taking lead and sharing with guitarist Dan Vallier.

Sullivan’s vocals are soft and sweet, while able to soar to extreme highs when necessary. Paired with Vallier’s vocals that suggest a similarity to The Receiving End of Sirens (RIP), the band is able to perform as a crossover act with many sounds mixed in to one.

Check out the title track from their EP, “The Nightmare Academy.”

3. Jenna McDougall from Tonight Alive

When solely female-fronted bands (no dual-vocals) come, Paramore is the band most people think of. But while that band has strayed down the manufactured, mainstream path, there are many bands that have been influenced by Paramore’s orange-haired singer, Hayley Williams.

Jenna McDougall is a near sound alike. The difference lies in the fact that the pop-punk music of Tonight Alive is far superior to the alternative drabble that Paramore “produces.”

McDougall could easily be the next “star” in the world of female-fronted rock. It doesn’t hurt that she has an Australian accent. Who doesn’t like that?

Check out “Thank You & Goodnight,” from their album “What Are You So Scared Of?” Some guy named Mark Hoppus sings on the track too.


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