It’s no secret that Nasty Gal’s rooted in rock ‘n roll, but our identity lies specifically in the music that serves a purpose and the women who say “fuck it.” So, with a little help from our resident music expert, Meredith Hunter, we put together a playlist of songs from seven iconic girl-centric bands and artists that have rocked their own rebellion. But first, a quick history lesson…
This list wouldn’t be complete without Suzi Quatro, the first female bass player to become a full-blown rockstar—and not that it’s important, but she was also a serious babe. The self-taught musician rose to fame during the Glam Rock period of the early ’70s, fronting an all-male band and making a statement with her penchant for leather over glitter. Meanwhile, Bay Area band The Avengers and English group The Adverts were slaying punk rock. Penelope Houston, then 19, led the former with her earnest, angsty lyrics, and bassist Gaye Advert became defined just as much by her fearless spirit as her iconic look: heavy liner and a leather jacket.
Challenging the status quo in a similar way, British all-girl heavy metal band Girlschool acted as a pre-cursor to the riot grrrl movement of the early ’90s, which saw the intersection of punk music and feminism take shape in the form of music, zines, art, and other mediums. Other all-girl groups Team Dresch, Bratmobile, and Luscious Jackson—the first band to sign with the Beastie Boys’ label—played a pivotal role in the subculture, redefining what it meant to be a woman who thinks for herself.
Scroll down and pump up the volume. The girl power is about to get hardcore.