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Album Review | INDIE ROCK

The Julie Ruin, ‘Run Fast’

More than her sociopolitical bent, more than her tantrummy vocals, Kathleen Hanna’s primary identifying characteristic — whether with Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, or the Julie Ruin — is how she makes what she’s doing sound like the easiest thing in the world, both for herself and for anyone interested in joining her. The Julie Ruin’s “Run Fast,” her first release since 2004, doesn’t change that, even with her shifted emphasis to spirited garage New Wave. Maybe too spirited at times; without the madcap intensity of Hanna’s best work, too much is simply frenzied. But as she sings, “Girls like us pick up the hot handles and burn our hands and we get over it,” and that undeterred exploration results in gems like “Lookout” and “Goodnight Goodbye,” which equates the latest generation of punk upstarts with her younger self and suddenly mistrusts both. And the warm title track has something unusual for Hanna: room to breathe, so that even when she’s done singing, there’s still plenty more song to unspool. (Out Tuesday)


ESSENTIAL “Run Fast”

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