Review: The Spitboy Rule

Michelle Cruz Gonzales – The Spitboy Rule: Tales of Xicana in a female punk band (PM Press)

Reviewed in Cubesville #20

As a female in a male-dominated punk scene, as a small town working class punk in the San Francisco hardcore scene, and as a Xicana Mexican in a predominantly white scene, the Spitboy Rule is a voice straight out of DIY punk – from a drummer in a feminist hardcore punk band, who toured in the late 1980s/early 1990s, and and an account of the role Spitboy played in her personal development.

Many 1990s DIY bands have been overshadowed by punk’s surprising commercialisation during that decade. And as Lookout Records labelmates with Green Day and scenester friends of Nirvana, Spitboy faced that mainstream/DIY argument.

As a feminist hardcore punk band, Spitboy made what would today sound like a surprising step away from the emergent Riot Grrrl movement. But Michelle recounts the band’s position with honesty – an established punk band with deep roots in the Bay Area scene.

Allegiances between band members, and Michelle describes the micro-politics of how people with very different backgrounds fitted together in a touring band.

Michelle’s writing is always succinct, hitting the nail on the head time after time in short, fast, loud chapters of this inspirational feminist punk memoir.

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