THE JULIE RUIN – Hit Reset (Hardly Art): Run Fast isn’t just this punk quintet’s first album, it’s the motto riot grrrl godmother Kathleen Hanna adopted after bouncing back from the debilitating effects of Lyme disease, a loud and proud shout to the world that this Rebel Girl wouldn’t be put down easily. Hit Reset, though, isn’t quite a rejiggering, and it’s not quite a step backward; it’s an acknowledgement that there are demons in the closet needing to be dealt with, and Hanna wastes no time launching into targets well deserving of her inimitable mix of comedic slights and acidic ire.
Hanna opens with the title track, a recollection of her abusive alcoholic father, amazed she made it out alive but retaining enough gumption to say straight up she doesn’t buy for a second any half-assed apology. On “Mr. So and So” she calls out that peculiar brand of male faux-liberals who pride themselves on their self-enlightenment regarding feminism (and everything else!) and just love explaining to women how ‘hip’ they are with it. “Planet You” insinuates the narcissism of selfie culture isn’t just a fashionable scourge, but a symptom of self-love over real love.
But it’s not all poking fun and prodding fools. “Rather Not” and especially “Let Me Go” are too carefully addressed to be “fuck you” breakup songs. The only one that doesn’t really work is that ballad at the end, by which time you’re exhausted anyway by the assault. Though as powerful as it is, it’s not quite the powerhouse Run Fast was. Hit Reset is more a vessel for Kathleen Hanna the individual than the spokeswoman for a musical and social movement. But I bet a lot of people get just as much or more out of her fragmented stories—I sure do. A MINUS