Posted on February 10, 2015
February 10, 2015 | by Bryne Yancey
Not all music feels important, especially now.
Everything tangible in our current culture is to some degree, disposable; in an era where most of us get new smartphones every two years, new computers every three or four, new cars every seven or eight, the shelf life of music, of any artistic exploit, feels unfortunately and unfairly finite. Of course, not all music is made with the intention of immortality, and often, a band’s legend can (and should) overshadow their musical or lyrical shortcomings. Ramones’ legacy will go on forever largely despite songs about sniffing glue, not largely because of them.
Demos, unless you’re like, Minor Threat, also have a shelf life to them, but an inherent one. Rarely do they feel important as part of a band’s discography; they’re important as a genesis, but that’s where it ends. It’s far too soon to tell whether or not the demo from G.L.O.S.S. will stand the test of time. But right now, in 2015, it feels more important than most things in punk.
G.L.O.S.S. is an acronym for Girls Living Outside Society’s Shit; the band’s five-song demo gives harsh first-person perspectives of issues transgender girls face every day: the likely inimitable pain, ridicule and alienation that comes with publicly transitioning; the media’s often messy portrayal and slapdash coverage of trans issues; ostracization at the hands of a largely cis, straight, white, male society. These songs, though, have an undercurrent of defiance, of hope, of ingenuity coursing through them that’s unlike most anything currently out there. Musically, the band are just as fierce, deftly churning out 90-second hardcore bangers with more precisioned aggression than most.
Punk is supposed to the voice of the counterculture, of the outcasts, of the fucked up. But we all know that most of the time, that perspective you’re hearing being sung, screamed, whatever is a straight, white, cis male perspective. It’s the majority disguised as the minority. A lot of that is due to uncontrollable societal and psychological factors, the ways we were raised, those sorts of things. But it’s time to stop pretending that we speak for all the damaged people. We don’t. Bands like G.L.O.S.S. are more important than ever, not just to expand our horizons as open-minded punks, but to do what we say we’re gonna do and give these issues, issues we cannot possibly understand, their rightful place in our scene to be discussed.