G.L.O.S.S. – Trans Day of Revenge – Album Review by Danny Vagnoni
G.L.O.S.S. (Girls Living Outside Society’s Shit) artillery-fire bursted onto the hardcore punk scene in mid January 2015. Their Demo of self-described “badgirlcore” shook the hardcore community with bombast and intelligence. Check out their bandcamp. On June 13th, 2016, they released Trans Day of Revenge, their EP follow up. Trans Day of Revenge is musically a much needed refresher in the hardcore scene, and culturally a bold, brilliant – neigh transgressive step into hardcore.
Throughout Trans Day of Revenge, the raging guitars of Tannrr and Jake don’t let up – coupled with the bass (Julaya, who picked up playing for the project) G.L.O.S.S.’s instrumentals are tight up high and down low. As for drums (Corey) and vocals (Sadie), I cannot overstate their endurance and intensity.
The EP is a lit fuse, clocking in at just six minutes and fifty-eight seconds. Trans Day of Revenge keeps the listener engaged through this nearly seven minutes of bombast and, like a lit fuse, implies a forthcoming violence. The opener, "Give Violence a Chance" (clearly a parody of Lennon’s), begins with “WHEN PEACE IS JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR DEATH/IT’S OUR TIME TO GIVE VIOLENCE A CHANCE” and sets the tone for the rest of the EP. All capital emphasis verbatim from G.L.O.S.S.’s bandcamp.
But it’s not all bombast either. This is a cohesive, intelligent record that approaches many challenging themes in its short seven minutes. While hardcore has always leaned left politically, it has also historically been mired in contradictory misogyny. G.L.O.S.S. draws on their experiences to aggressively confront mainstream identity politics, police brutality, and jingoism, broadly.
The band devotes much of the EP to punk anthems – catchy (though not pop catchy) songs with refrains to gather a community around. “FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE” from "Fight" and “BOOT THE FUCKER” from "Out From The Desk" stand out as quintessential lines from the EP.
"We Live" is more intimate in its lyricism, without the toned down instrumentals that would, in pop music, normally connote a shift in tone. This tension is essential to the track, and makes it even more uncomfortable for the cis listener. The track attacks numerous themes, from thoughts of suicide and self-worth (WE LIVE/EVEN AS WE WONDER WHY, WE LIVE/WITH TRAUMA LOCKED INSIDE, WE FIGHT/AGAINST THE URGE TO DIE), to shame and abuse (CHILDHOOD SHAME/INTERNAL BLAME, INCEST BORE A COMPLEX PAIN, WE LIVE AND DIE/AGAINST THE GRAIN, FOR OURSELVES WE LIVE). It ends with a defiant “WE LIVE.”
"Trans Day of Revenge," the track, is a synthesis of the record. It brings together the intimacy from "We Live" with the aggressive confrontation of the rest of Trans Day of Revenge. It the perfect closer to this explosive EP. The dragging triplets of the chorus (TRANS DAY OF REVENGE) incite a terrific and signature sonic violence that I am vastly looking forward to more of with future releases. I am comfortable saying that G.L.O.S.S. is the hardcore band to pay attention to – and this is with the return of Refused, another seminal hardcore act.
Ed. note: As of this publishing the band has broken up. They are donating all funds they receive from Bandcamp post-breakup to a homeless shelter in Olympia, Washington.