Tag Archives: Fire Records

First Wave Gurrlcore From Berlin


Gurr, the Berlin-based duo of Andreya Casablanca and Laura Lee, were looking for a new way to describe the music on their first full-length LP, In My Head, so they held a contest on social media. The band has a devoted fanbase—nicknamed GurrScouts—who, according to Casablanca and Lee, have been incredibly supportive of the band over the past four years. Some of them have traveled two and a half hours to shows, and have helped the band out with videos. So enlisting them for assistance made the right kind of sense. The results did not disappoint. Submissions included: “Gurrage,” “Riot Gurrs,” “political pigeon punk,” “File under: Bigger than Fleetwood Mac” and “Techno” (the band does not play techno).

“We really liked pigeon punk,” says Lee, sitting outside a darkened späti in Berlin’s Neukölln district. We met on Mauerfall, a national holiday celebrating German reunification, and realized too late that every bar, cafe, and venue in the city was closed. “It was a tough decision” she says. The winner (and proud recipient of a signed edition of “Piggy vinyl, Record Player Protection Thingy, Poster and Pick”) was “First Wave Gurrlcore.” “First wave Gurrlcore was cool,” says Casablanca, “because it responded to what we have been going through with music journalists—being branded as the ‘new Riot Grrl scene.’ But we were like, ‘No, we’re first wave of our own stuff.’”

They may be their own first wave, but fans of Bratmobile, the Raincoats and Sleater-Kinney will find plenty to love in Gurr. And for a band only now releasing their first full-length, they have received the kind of attention that bands with much longer discographies would envy: An early single “Metropole” was included on the soundtrack for the film Desire Will Set You Free, directed by Yony Leyser (which also featured cameos by Berlin legends Nina Hagen, Peaches, and Einstürzende Neubauten’s Blixa Bargeld). They have toured with the Coathangers, Bleached, Jimmy Eat World, and Best Coast, with whom they share a left-coast surf-rock vibe. “It was a really big deal,” Lee says. “We were like, ‘Fave band ever!”

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