Spin - "Shapiro's deadpan yowl dictates simple premises over occasionally-in-tune riffs: 'Nasty Grrls' baits gynephobes for three minutes..."
Pitchfork (Website) - "Childbirth are indiscriminate in their choice of topics, as long as they're ripe for comedy. They'll tackle anything from online dating to Seattle's influx of tech culture, brought to you by Amazon..."
Personnel: Julia Shapiro (vocals, guitar); Bree McKenna (vocals); Stacy Peck (drums).
Audio Mixer: Alice Wilder.
Recording information: Vault Studio.
If Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were twenty-somethings who decided to put together a punk band, the results might have been something like Childbirth, which says a great deal about how funny Childbirth can be, as well as how cleverly they articulate their witty but very real messages about feminism and contemporary culture. Childbirth are clearly not a joke, but they may well be the funniest punk band to emerge in ages, and just as their debut EP It's a Girl! delivered bits of comic genius like "I Only Fucked You as a Joke," "Will You Be My Mom?," and "How Do Girls Even Do It?," their first full-length, Women's Rights, manages to rock hard and generate plenty of solid laughs along the way with numbers like "Tech Bro" (a paean to having a coder boyfriend who will explain feminism to you), "Siri, Open Tinder" (about the perils of online dating), "Since When Are You Gay?" (in which our protagonist's straight friend starts dating women), "Cool Mom" ("She lets me drink alcohol!....She buys me condoms!"), and "Baby Bump" (best variation on this theme since Garfunkel & Oates' "Pregnant Women Are Smug"). While Childbirth's lyrics are funny and the humor is often broad, the jokes are never dumb -- there's just enough rage (or at least common annoyance) beneath the surface to remind us these are real world concerns, and like the best humor, the gags ring true as an only mildly distorted version of real life. And while Childbirth are proudly punk rock, their stripped-down, deliberately primitive sound has firmed up a bit since It's a Girl!, and guitarist and singer Julia Shapiro sounds tougher and more confident here (especially on her guitar), while bassist Bree McKenna and Stacy Peck hold down the rhythms with no fuss but a good amount of muscle. Like Fey and Poehler, Childbirth easily shut down the canard that women (especially feminists) can't be funny, and on Women's Rights they also show they can crank out some lean, tuneful punk rock, and this album is a smart, unpretentious good time on any number of levels. ~ Mark Deming