What is this site?
This site collects several thousand reviews of underground rock albums by female musicians and bands including female members. The main genres covered are progressive and psychedelic rock, acid- and electric folk, jazz/rock, extreme metal, obscure beat and all points in between. You will find music here from every corner of the world and from every era from the mid-sixties to today.
What isn't this site?
This is not an encyclopaedia of releases by female musicians (it's not encyclopaedic enough). Nor does it offer any sociological discussion of women's place in music (as this is not my area of expertise).
Who are you?
I'm a published novelist, advertising copywriter and former politician. I was a major contributor to the music reference books Galactic Ramble and Endless Trip and have written about music for magazines including Record Collector and Flashback. First and foremost, I am a record collector, with more than 17,000 items in my collection: LPs, CDs, DVDs, singles, boxed sets and much more besides.
Is there a charge for using this site?
No, the information here is free to everyone. However, there is a PayPal donation button on each page, and it would be a nice gesture for people who enjoy the site to make a contribution towards my time and effort. (Any donations will effectively benefit readers, as they will be spent on new records, which I will then review.)
I'm a female musician in a band. How do I get you to review my album?
Please email me at email@example.com for my postal address, then send me a stock copy with all artwork. I do not review downloads where a physical product exists. Chances are I will buy your album eventually and review it anyway, but if you send me a copy directly I will endeavour to review it within a week of receipt.
How fair are the reviews?
Fairness doesn't really enter into it: these are personal opinions, and certainly don't represent any last word on the quality of the albums under discussion. However, I'm rarely vindictive in my criticism, and on the occasions I strongly dislike an album will clearly articulate the reasons.
How many times do you listen to the albums before reviewing them?
In most cases, once. I've listened to enough music over the years to know what I think of most records on first listen; where I'm not sure, I'll listen again. Some reference guides stipulate that reviewers must listen to albums a minimum number of times before commenting, but my opinions would be unlikely to change by doing this (though it would significantly slow down the rate at which I can absorb new music).
What do the grades at the end of the reviews mean?
There's a detailed description of my grading system under 'Review Format'. As a short summary, anything graded B– or above is recommended (very strongly recommended in the case of anything graded B or above). C+ albums, which make up more half the reviews, constitute pleasant listening and should appeal to those liking the artist or genre in question. Anything from C downwards is for completists only, though there's a huge difference between a C (a patchy or mediocre album that may have a few good moments) and an E– (which is stricly for masochists, or at least people with radically different tastes from mine).
How often will new reviews be added?
I listen to music daily and compile reviews on a weekly basis, typically covering anywhere between about three and 15 albums. However, I tend to update the site less frequently – typically once every few weeks – so a few weeks' reviews will appear simultaneously. To read the latest reviews, please check the 'New and Updated' link under 'Reviews'. After they have been displayed in this section, reviews will be added to the relevant alphabetical section.
You've reviewed a rare album that I've always wanted to hear. Will you make a recording of it for me?
No, sorry. Not even if you pay me. I simply don't have the time or inclination to make CDRs, cassettes or MP3s or post clips onto YouTube or SoundCloud – I'd rather be listening to new or favourite music instead.
I'd like to know more about one of the albums you've reviewed. Can you help me?
If it's a quick enquiry that doesn't require a re-listen or any detailed research, I'll do my best.
There's a rare record I'm thinking of buying, but you haven't reviewed it. Can I have your opinion of it?
If I own the record in question (and provided it involves a female musician and falls into my musical area of interest, I probably do own it), I should be able to have a listen within a couple of days and post a review with my next update.
Can I use the information from this site to contact musicians to see whether they have spare copies of their albums?
I can hardly stop you, but do bear in mind that in the case of rare and expensive records, I will probably have done this already (and the dealer who sold me the album probably got there before me).
Can I quote your reviews in an eBay listing or a sale list?
Yes – people are already doing this with my Galactic Ramble reviews. I would expect you to quote this site as the source and not to take comments out of context to inflate my opinion of a record.
How can I contact you?
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll check this account every couple of days and get back to you if your query or comment requires an answer.
What sort of feedback is welcome?
Corrections are always welcome – of wrongly attributed catalogue numbers, incorrect first pressings, missing packaging details (such as inner sleeves or inserts), misspelt names, incorrect years of release, and so on. I'm also happy to have a general discussion about music.
What sort of feedback is not welcome?
If you disagree with my comments on an album, there is no point in writing an exasperated email about it – telling me I'm a cloth-eared moron won't make me like the record any better.