Aggressive Female-Fronted Acoustic Folk Punk

by Lo DeGroot

Although the sprawling punk subculture likes to tout expressions of rebellion, anarchy, subversion, and alternative ways of living/thinking, much of the scene is still rampant with status-quo misogyny and homophobia. There are, of course, women in punk rock, some of them even legends, but they’re definitely the minority. That’s why I feel extra proud of any ladies out there fucking the scene up. One of them is Elisha Cause.

Elisha Cause is the stage name of Elisha Schoonmaker, the lead singer of Combat Crisis, the brutal street punk band from Philadelphia. Elisha began her journey with music when she picked up the drums at age eighteen, but “quickly became known for her ability to scream louder and harder than most boys.”

That certainly explains how she ended up as the lead vocalist of a street punk band. Combat Crisis was formed in 2006, a year later signed with Concrete Umbrella Records, and to date have produced three albums. Straight off their Facebook page, Combat Crisis’ mission statement is, “Fighting racism, sexism, homophobia, and ‘white collar scum.'” I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with street punk or its variations, but I’m just going to tell you: you won’t find those statements often.

In 2012, Elisha began taking material she’d written that hadn’t worked out for Combat Crisis and recording it acoustically — but that doesn’t soften her edge. She brands her acoustic work as “Aggressive Female-Fronted Acoustic Folk Punk,” and I would deem that an apt description; try My Favorite Band Hasn’t Written in a While by Elisha Cause.

I love that Elisha’s voice doesn’t change for her acoustic work. I love that she’s rough through and through, that she doesn’t compromise her authentic self or her artistic integrity no matter the project she’s working on. I love that she’s carving out a place for herself in a harsh scene and that she’s creating representation for women within that harsh scene. I love Elisha Cause! So stick it to white collar scum and give her and Combat Crisis a try.

Photo courtesy of Tim Shaw.

Lo is currently recovering from completing undergrad in the frozen hellscape that is Chicago — ergo mostly equal parts sleepy and hungry at all times. She loves to talk, though, so holla @

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