Last month, punk legend Alice Bag announced her sophomore album, Blueprint, with the incisive “Turn It Up,” and today she’s back with the second single from the album. “77” alternates between snarling and harmonic as Bag and friends Kathleen Hanna and Allison Wolfe take on the gender pay gap. “It’s time, it’s time,” they coo in the chorus, salving the inexorability of progress. The verses are all forward-momentum screams, with each vocalist switching off lines about the systemic sexism that leads to serious consequences. “I make 77 cents on the dollar/ It’s not fair and it makes me want to holler,” Bag kicks off. “Yeah, you work hard but I work harder/ To catch where you are, I gotta push myself farther,” Hanna and Wolfe bark in.
The accompanying video, directed by Scott Stuckey, is a direct nod to 9 To 5, the 1980 Jane Fonda/Lily Tomlin/Dolly Parton vehicle whose well-intentioned take on feminism has become wrinkled with time. But Bag, Hanna, and Wolfe harness the power inherent in taking the reins from your shitty boss (played by Hunx & His Punks’ Seth Bogart). There’s also a guest appearance from Garbage’s Shirley Manson). Together, they turn a technicolored paper-pusher office into a kinky club.
Watch and listen via NPR below.