Cortina Whiplash
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Cortina Whiplash

Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa | INDIE

Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa | INDIE
Band Rock Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Cortina Whiplash : Revving the Engines of Rock"

If someone mentions “all-girl group”, you’ll be forgiven for immediately thinking of the Spice Girls – but what if I told you there’s a girl outfit that can actually play instruments? Yup, it’s true. There’s a girl rock trio on the scene and they’re rocking harder than the cat in the cradle…and they’re pretty hot too!

Kiff Name

The name Cortina Whiplash may evoke humorous images of bomber jackets, socks with slops, Klippies and Coke, and Kurt Darren treffers – but you can stop laughing right there, because these musical femme fatales are legitimate rock ’n rollers, in spite of their weird moniker. “Have you watched Talladega Nights? There’s a part with a speeding muscle car on the back roads, when suddenly the guy slams on brakes and a baby pops out the woman in the backseat – that’s where the idea initially came from,” explains guitarist Tessa Lily. “Also, our fathers owned Cortinas, so it’s an icon for who we are. Hopefully, the fans at our show are also getting ‘whiplash’ from rocking out.”

Originally, Cortina Whiplash began out of the ashes of their former band, Rokkeloos, which was seen as the female version of Fokofpolisiekar. In a time where Afrikaans rock was – and still is – more viable than the English market, the ladies did the unforeseen and crossed over. The question is… was it a smart move? “Now that you put it that way, I’m not so sure anymore,” Tessa laughs. “We were frustrated with Rokkeloos and wanted to potentially have a product that we could take overseas. Basically, we wanted to try something different and express ourselves better.”

Tessa reveals that the band has only been together for two years, which I find quite remarkable, as in such a short time together they’ve done more than most local bands do in a decade. “I’d say we could do more. In a span of a band, it feels like 10 years. [Being in a band] takes a lot of passion, as it’s not an easy career to follow – but we take it seriously. It’s a bit of luck and a lot of hard work, and a good manager also helps.”

Burning bras and cave-trolls

Continuing the trend of odd names, their debut album is titled Queen Hyena. The girls say they chose this name because a hyena is a strong symbol of feminism. Hmm…feminism – Patti Smith rock ’n roll-inspired feminism or something more extreme?

“We wouldn’t say we’re feminists. Generally, feminism has bad connotations such as women with moustaches (laughs). We’re an all-girl band, but we want to be recognised as a good band – regardless of our gender. But, yes, Patti Smith is one of our influences, as are a lot of cool women in music like Debbie Harry from Blondie,” says Tessa.

Even though it’s 2010, there’s still a persistent cave-troll mentality from many men who feel women shouldn’t be onstage, but doing the dishes at home. Tessa says they suffered from sexism in the early days of Rokkeloos, but have now found more support from the male audience than the female side. “Guys respect us and compliment our band – I think they’re chuffed to see girls up onstage and rocking out. [With regards to the girls] a lot of them are still stuck in the groupie mentality and perhaps resent us a little. We say, ‘instead of being a groupie, become a musician’.”

Photo : T.J. Lucas

Ladies, start your engines

Getting back to the album, Queen Hyena was produced and engineered by Brendan Jury (Urban Creep) and mixed by the experienced Neal Snyman. Despite these admirable names in the footnotes, Tessa is under no illusions and feels they need to hit the studio again very soon. “We want to try record another album this year. We only recorded 7 songs for Queen Hyena and have a lot more material. We want to continue and strive to be better musicians – and making a living out of it would be awesome too.”

Cortina Whiplash’s motto is: one fan at a time. The way they’re moving, there might not be enough space in the backseat for their future legions.
For more information on Cortina Whiplash, check out: - Muse Magazine

"Music With Balls" - One Small Seed

"Tight pants. Tight Riffs: Cortina Whiplash"

Tight pants. Tight Riffs: Cortina Whiplash
Nathan Zeno - 16 Mar 2009, 00:00

Editor rating: Eight

The Guitar. The Bass. The Drums. So Nice. She struts non-ironically, wielding her bass like, well, there simply is no other way to put it plainly, a giant strap on. Cortina Whiplash has cornered the market in stripped down rock ‘n roll. They corner the crowd too, in an unfettered display of primal energy, moving through a neat little set that is about breaking from, as much as it is sticking to, rock and roll purity.

Cortina Whiplash would have blown Lou Reed away, if he were still young. They have that essential Dirt, and mix it with a cleanness of notes that just makes you wish you had the balls to be in a band.

It’s the simplicity that gets you, that and the energy, and the lame guitar strap. It’s also in the little breaks and tempo changes that Cortina Whiplash display their love for, it seems, gently chaffing Joburg references, the Karoo and of course, being rock ‘n roll, dead cheating lovers.

Bass, Drums are also Lead Singer and Harmonies. Guitar is almost stylistically contrapuntal. Not that I know what
I’m talking about, being a boy, at which part it must also be said that Cortina Whiplash are a three-piece all girl band who own the stage along with all the boys’ and some of the girls’ hearts, if not, at least, pants.

They don’t play like girls; they don’t play like men. Women who rock, rock out, and generally seem like women you shouldn’t mess with but want to.

But for all the rock and roll and lust I can talk, the simple fact is that Cortina Whiplash are not just three hot chicks on stage. They’re awesome performers and natural musicians. They rip through the stage and crowd with abandon, without sacrificing a note, with balls, bad boy energy and sheer style. Just as they slip into a groove, they take you someplace else, some place you really want to go.

*Pic - Chris Stamatiou - LEVI'S® ORIGINAL MUSIC

"Review: Cortina Whiplash – Queen Hyena"

Honk! Honk! Get out of the way, emo kids, because Cortina Whiplash are speeding down the rock ’n roll highway and destroying your speakers with their 1 litre of petrol and 2 litres of awesomeness engine!

Do you remember a time where rock wasn’t commercialised or raped by the savages known as trendsetters, and everyone appreciated it for its rawness and unconventional manner? Well, that’s the kinda “turn back the clock” feeling Queen Hyena evokes. The local all-girl trio deliver a “classic rock” sound, which can best be described as a merger of rock, punk and psychobilly. Just recently, I finished reading a book titled Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain, and I couldn’t help but imagine Cortina Whiplash sharing the stage with artists, such as Patti Smith and Iggy Pop, from that era – they seemingly possess the same sort of extraordinary attitude, flair and emotion to create a genuine stir.

In terms of the album, I was immediately blown away by ‘Country Road Killer’, which carries such an undeniable Johnny Cash influence in the verse that it will make you feel guilty for purchasing that Justin Bieber album and betraying real artistry in music. The title track, ‘Queen Hyena’, is also worthy of a mention, as it changes lanes across a variety of genres, such as ska, punk and rock, and gets your adrenaline revving with its catchy hooks and flamboyance.

The only reason the album doesn’t get a higher rating than 68 is purely because of the running time. At 26 minutes, it’s fairly short and I was left wanting and yearning for more. Yet despite its short running time, Queen Hyena is not short on ideas or musicianship (by the way, I’ll go on record and say that vocalist Loandi has the best voice in the local rock scene at the moment). In fact, I can easily say that this is the album that has once again reignited my love affair with local rock.

Best Tracks: ‘Country Road Killer’, ‘Leb To The Knees’, and ‘Queen Hyena’


- Sergio Pereira
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Queen Hyena - 2010 EP

First Single "To Amber"



Cortina Whiplash is the most popular all-female rock ‘n roll band in South Africa and one of a few committed all-female rock bands in the world. Unlike many of their all-female counterparts they refuse to use this fact as an excuse for poor musicianship and pride themselves on building their reputation as talented musicians and performers. They are renowned for their energetic live performances, complete with lead vocalist Loandi’s high heel stage acrobatics and stage dives. In short they keep up with the boys.

Cortina Whiplash’s music is rock ‘n roll at its core but represents elements of their individual musical backgrounds. Guitarist Tessa completed her National Diploma of Music at the Tshwane University of Technology where she met vocalist Loandi and their shared love of jazz has definite reflections in their music. Completing the trio is self-taught drummer Nanas Diamantes whose background in percussion lends an unconventional drumming approach to their musical style.

All three members have been performing live together for the past five years and were previously part of South Africa’s most controversial; all-female Afrikaans rock band Rokkeloos; who ended up in court for pushing the boundaries of the Afrikaans language, culture and perception of women and thus paved the way for a radical new wave of South African music. The band reformed and started writing in English in 2009 with the aim to reach bigger audiences.

Cortina Whiplash draws inspiration from the 1970’s rock and roll and punk scenes, Patti Smith, Black Sabbath and Mötorhead with a touch of Jazz guitar and some incredible vocal harmonies. As Sergio Pereira from Muse Magazine so poignantly described: “Imagine if Mötorhead, Wolfmother and the HorrorPops fornicated in a musical orgy? The result would be a zany bastard child, equally adept in punk, rock and psychobilly. That’s pretty much the best way you can describe Cortina Whiplash’s Queen Hyena. Ignoring nearly every single convention their contemporaries use today, Cortina Whiplash dig through the archives and deliver the purest type of rock ‘n roll known to mankind..”

In an era where so many artists are over-produced and packaged it’s refreshing to find a down to earth band comprised of strong live female performers. They hope that their tenacity and passion for music will enable them to break every “girl band” stereotype and thus continue to pave the way for young female musicians all over the world.