This past month, the Houston band Mydolls released a new record, played a set at the feminist gathering Fabulosa in Yosemite, California, and then rocked Oakland with punk legends The Avengers. These were just a few more stops on a long road that stretches back to 1978, when guitarist/vocalist Trish Herrera and bassist Dianna Ray got together with guitarist/vocalist Linda Younger (then Bond) and drummer George Reyes and rose through a scene centered around the Houston record label C.I.A. and the shop Real Records, both of which spawned from legendary Houston punk kingpins Really Red.
Mydolls were referred to by some as the “little sisters” of the punk scene, but they cut their own path. They played shows with Really Red, The Degenerates, Butthole Surfers and San Antonio’s Marching Plague. They released 7” EPs in 1981 and 1982 and a 6-song 12” EP in 1983. They toured and appeared in the 1984 film Paris, Texas and continued to play shows into the late ’80s, and never actually broke up. But another record was not to appear for decades. In 2007, Grand Theft Audio released a career-spanning collection of Mydolls material renewing interest in the group, and the next year local promoter Anna Garza asked them to play the Noise and Smoke festival.
The next year, Younger and Ray got involved with another of Garza’s projects – Girls Rock Camp Houston, where young girls come together to form bands and write songs. “For Mydolls there is a really special continuity to Girls Rock Camp and our personal band history,” said Ray. “Our former sound engineer Phil Davis’s granddaughter, Alex, has attended camp for the last several years. Watching her grow in confidence and as a musician has been a wonderful experience and an awesome legacy.”
The new album, It’s Too Hot for Revolution, is an 8-song revisit of some ’80s Mydolls songs there were no proper studio versions of, and a new one, “Don’t Fucking Die,” that deals with Younger’s bout with breast cancer and alternately serves as a tribute to Ray’s wife and longtime Mydoll guitarist Kathy Johnston. “The music captures many emotions,” Younger said. “Anger, apathy, sadness, acceptance, gratitude, compassion, paying it forward and frustration.” New versions of “Politician” and the title track highlight the enduring quality of their writing. “Times are different,” Herrera said. “But the hate and war still exists, and the racism in our country is pervasive. All of the same issues still apply to songs we wrote in 1983.”