A monthly peer into the world of the outspoken, the sidelined, and the hard-hitting
The internet has become the perfect place for everyone from your boss-eyed aunt to Pope Francis to personally push their agendas on you – and music has always been there to subliminally force your hand. So what happens when those worlds collide? A political platform is formed, and it’s one nearly everyone has the power to use. There’s a wave of new opinions pouring in at every angle, every second of the day, and it’s up to you to strain out what’s worth listening to.
This column is meant to act as a helping hand. By filtering through the best of punk, post-punk, hardcore, electronica, whatever – I’ll be seeking the best of bands and artists speaking from the heart about things most people would rather not look in the eye.
G.L.O.S.S - Trans Days of Revenge
On 12 June, a gunman entered Orlando LGBT nightclub Pulse and opened fire. He killed 49 people and injured 53 others. A day later, trans/genderqueer/femme hardcore band G.L.O.S.S dropped this EP.
Sounding like the feminist apocalypse, it drives all the points the band have been making since their inception even deeper into the ribs of those who have dared to wrong them, and in turn, acts as a rallying shout for a community in need of an empowering shout to action. As Sadie sings, “It’s our turn to give violence a chance.”
The Ingroans - Guts Diner
“There is no god, you stupid fuck.” So opens Guts Diner by The Ingroans, a suitably gutsy, intense debut LP from the Minneapolis garage punk band. Riot grrrl influences are also rife – the vocals are intentionally and gloriously shrieky, and while the subject matter is small-time (walking down the street, getting detention), it all locks into an angry girl narrative that feels a whole lot bigger.
Accidente - Pulso
Madrid punk band Accidente released their bright, uptempo third album right at the beginning of this month and it’s a pop punk belter. However cheery it sounds, though, the lyrics deal with savage tableaus of emotion: “Dignity does not mean you do not scream when it hurts,” they sing, and you find yourself agreeing. The band have dedicated the album to “to the more than 40 anarchists arrested in recent months by the state”, and they choose to sing in Spanish, a subtly political choice that takes nothing away from the intensity for an unfortunately monolingual listener.
Efialtis - Κολοσσιαίο Γυναικείο Κεφάλι
Another band choosing to get their point across in their native tongue is London punk band Efialtis, who sing in Cypriot Greek. There’s no translation for this one, but for me, the atmosphere is thickened further by the indecipherable language. The band take cues for their heavy, fuzzed-up style from danger punk – a genre that is defined by posing “a real danger to its audience”. Strong.
Grey Places - Dolly
Grey Places map out murky post-punk soundscapes that are as catchy as they are affecting. “You’ve been broken down, time after time, but you believe you are worth more,” vocalist Sophy J intones on track Worth More. “It’s no surprise you can’t look me in the eye.” The album is streaming free, but any money put towards it goes to Grandmothers Against Removals – a movement against the systematic removal of Aboriginal children from their families in Australia.