Originally the solo project of full-time badass Kathleen Hanna, The Julie Ruin has grown from a 90s side-stage outlet to a full-blown band. Their ‘Run Fast’ debut was Hanna’s return to releasing new music after her struggles with lyme disease took her out of the game. It was a deliberately scrappy, purposefully lo-fi, and admittedly all-over-the-shop smoothie of Le Tigre, Bikini Kill and every part of Hanna’s formidable legacy.
‘Hit Reset,’ meanwhile, sees The Julie Ruin taking a sharp-pointed pin, pushing the button and reverting to factory settings. Though the ramshackle essence remains, it’s a more brawny and carefully-honed follow-up. ‘Let Me Go’ is punchy, crisp and absolutely mad – agitated, fidgety organs colliding with fuzzed up strums and Hanna’s chanting lead: “I can’t tell you why, don’t care to try, anymore”. ‘Mr So and So,’ meanwhile is the sort of song Bikini Kill might’ve written had they formed a supergroup with ‘Call The Doctor’-era Sleater Kinney; Hanna letting lose breathless, abrasive tirades. “My girlfriend’s a reaaaaaaally big fan,” Hanna drawls sardonically, “go change the world!” delivered with extra patronising panache. She’s presumably mocking certain male fans who approach her after gigs.
A racing sense fun propels much of The Julie Ruin’s latest, and it’s a more refined step forward from the debut. With such a hefty past to lug along and lift up to, ‘Hit Reset,’ true to name, is the moment where Kathleen and co. wipe the slate clean again and run riot.