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Babes in Toyland Biography

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Babes in Toyland In-depth Biography

Babes in Toyland} is about as harsh as rock} music gets -- guitarist Kat Bjelland} screams and thrashes her guitar to the gut-pounding, throttling beat of bassist Maureen Herman} and drummer Lori Barbero}. Over their two albums and two EPs, the all-female trio offers no escape from their strongly female-oriented, but not necessarily feminist, rock}.

Bjelland} formed Babes in Toyland} in 1987 in Minneapolis, after playing around San Francisco for several years in various bands which featured, at various times, Jennifer Finch} of L7} and Courtney Love} of Hole}. After releasing a single on Sub Pop}'s singles club, Babes in Toyland} came to the attention of Sonic Youth}, who took them on a tour of Europe. Soon, they recorded their abrasive debut, Spanking Machine}, with producer Jack Endino}; one more independent EP followed before they signed to Reprise}. Between labels, original bassist Michelle Leon} left the group.

Sonic Youth}'s Lee Ranaldo} produced their second album, Fontanelle}, which showed no signs of concession to a major label. In early 1993, the band broke up for several days before re-forming to record the Painkillers} EP and hitting the road with Lollapalooza} 1993.

Even though Lollapalooza} offered the group a boost in public exposure, they chose not to capitalize on it; instead, it took them nearly two years before they released a new record, Nemesisters}, in 1995. With Babes in Toyland} on hiatus, Bjelland} formed Katastrophy Wife} with husband Glen Mattson}; in the spring of 2000, Reprise} issued the Babes} collection Lived}. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

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