Posted January 30, 2014 by Cooper Point Journal in Arts & Entertainment
 
 

Local Punk Band Gag Detests Police, Embraces Sex & Violence


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BY DAVID JAQUES

“Put your gun to your head. Pull your trigger–now you’re dead.” “I’m a punk. I’m a freak. I hate you and you hate me.” “Ha ha ha, blah blah blah; either way you die.” These are the lyrical maxims of GAG, amongst others, expressing nihilistic alienation and an uncompromising hatred of the police. The band has been around since early 2012 and have since released two 7”s, a 12”, two flexis (one split with Milk Music) and a number of live tapes. “No Cops,” a song from their first demo, and a now widespread sloga amongst punks around the country, is a call to arms of a different sort, urging police to off themselves and insisting that “all cops must die.” The song encapsulates GAG’s message (if they even have one) and aesthetic (they certainly have one), not to mention their hard-as-shit sound.

A lot of their art, drawn by bassist and local artist Scott Young, features chains, playing cards, skulls, yin-yang symbols, leather jackets, clowns, scorpions and the emblematic “GAG cross.” Their first 7” features a cop hanging from the gallows which spells out the band’s name, drawn by Nick Wortham. The image and accompanying lyrics aim to provide a sort of counterweight to the tradition of respect and glorification of the police, whose acts of aggression, violence, and murder go untold every single day.

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But GAG are far from political, and in many respects envelop the “No Future” attitude held by many punks from the Reagan and Thatcher era. GAG offers no solutions to your problems, which may or may not be ones they hold in common with you, other than punk music that is loud, hard, visceral and very, very moshable. The band does, however, have a sense humor. Their 2013 releases, being their most recent, are titled This Punk Shit Is Cool But I Hope I’m Rob Zombie When I’m 28 ‘98 (a one-sided EP on Bedside Records), 40 Oz. Rule ‘90 (a 7” on Warthog Speak) and Gas Mask ’95 (a flexi on Perennial) respectively.

Each record features tracks that vary in speed and composition, with slow primal riffs building up to fast volatile bursts (take the track “Warm Milk” for instance, with the Gas Mask ’95 version featuring Dave Harvey on a distorted wailing saxophone) and mid-tempo bangers such as “Don’t Like” and “Haunted Truck Bed.” It’s safe to say they obviously don’t take themselves as seriously as a lot of punk bands these days, partially evidenced in the cataloging of their releases by ending the titles with arbitrary years from the ‘90s.

Their shows are always really fun and rowdy, and if you aren’t into dancing with (and probably slamming into) other people, they’re a fun band to just sit and watch. Their front man, Adam, is usually wearing a trench coat, various accessories adorned with studs, “fast” sunglasses and sporting a bizarre haircut while rolling around on the ground, or freak dancing and sneering into his delay pedal.

The band got back from touring the U.S. recently, having played the Not Dead Yet festival in Toronto with contemporaries such as S.H.I.T., Glue, Gas Rag, Blotter, Nuke Cult and Condition, amongst many others in a very stacked lineup. They’re playing shows in Olympia again, so if you’re interested, be sure to check the window at Phantom City, and all around town for flyers.