Wait for it
In 2007, Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino made Grindhouse, a double feature presenting Planet Terror and Death Proof. While not considered the best works by either director, I love both.
“A paean to the exploitation films of the 70s, built more for titillation than story-telling, Grindhouse is nearly impossibly silly, not necessarily a bad thing, and is certainly not for everyone.”
Joshua Starnes, ComingSoon.net
Blending intelligence, ego, and fun, the talented Hollywood directors recreated the exciting gore and ridiculousness of exploitation films from the 1970s. However, Grindhouse, specifically Death Proof, is missing one major component: Cat Valley.
Make a Clear Connection, Jesse
The title song, “Bingo Queen,” would be perfect in Death Proof. It is the female vocals, humorous but honest lyrics, and the build: “I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, Scream!” Imagine it early in the film, with the first set of women. It would highlight the characters’ ages and foreshadow the tragedy to come. Then, “Not Me” would play on the radio while the second group of women test-drive the Dodge Challenger. “You’re counting points for the win/My patience is growing thin/You think I’m gonna give in/Not me/Not me.” How perfect would that be?
That idea happened during one of my early listens of the Bingo Queen EP, yet as I added numbers to the Soundcloud counter, Flinn and Hegge drowned out the Tarantino thoughts. Revisiting “Not Me” and the lyrics, “Your expectations, limitations, they just fuck with my head/You don’t know me, you don’t know me, you don’t know who I am,” I felt called out. While their sound may fit the film mentioned earlier, Cat Valley does not need Tarantino to make them. They are talented musicians who have done their homework. Their music defines them, not oppressive and opinionated men.
The fifth song on this six-song EP was the one that finally slapped me in the face and got my attention. While I love the lyrics in the first four songs—I’ll get back to them—“My Body” was Cat Valley saying, Fucking listen to me! Yes, it is louder, faster, and more intense, all traits I love, but it is also an anthem that captures the fire of most women I know. It is in your face screaming, using their voices for the many women who no longer have one.
You think you own me
You think you own the whole fucking world
I’m so sick of you controlling everything that I do
I’m disposable, deplorable
There’s nothing left to do
I’m just a babymaker, birth canal
That’s all I am to you
It’s not your choice, not your choice, not your choice
It’s my choice, my choice, my body, my choice
Lyrics and the Music
After really hearing and listening to “My Body,” I approached this EP differently. Yes, “Bingo Queen” is funny and relatable. “No IRA, but I got cat food for days.” It sums up being a millennial in 2023. However, the rest of the songs show a darker side of our present world. “Not Me” explores how women must always protect themselves. “Mean Girls” is a twist on how we usually perceive that iconic phrase; instead, it is a rumination about women being extremely hard on themselves but friendly, complimentary, and supportive to others. Listen to “Imposter” and try not to feel something. Damn. And “My Body” and “It’s Over.”
Sarcastic; Angry; Supportive; Depressive; Very Pissed (Society); Extremely Pissed (Intimate)
The music here plays an important part. There is no confusion. It is an outlet—a positive way to express ideas and aggression. Think Bikini Kill from the 1990s. Women have every right to be riotous and loud, using a volume that forces people to listen.
Final Thought: I hate limiting this review to a man-and-woman discussion. It goes deeper than that. Roe vs. Wade goes beyond controlling women’s bodies; it perpetuates gender binarism. Those in power want to limit the perspective to us vs. them and not us vs. them and them and them and them and . . .
Final Thought—Part Two: I truly skimmed over the pleasure of listening to this Bingo Queen. The music is clean, and there is a clear progression of angst and anger. I think it is well-constructed and thought out. I am excited to hear more from Cat Valley.
Favorite Songs: “My Body” and “It’s Over”
Rating - 4.8 out of 5 (because I want more)