By Blaine Ewig
G.L.O.S.S. is the band that everyone has been talking about since long before they existed; they’re the thing that needed to happen. The Olympia supergroup is comprised of members of Vexx, Slouch, Body Betrayal, and other Olympia punk bands.
They haven’t even gone on their first tour yet, but they’re already making waves. The first demo, was recorded on Jan. 8, released a week later on the Jan. 16, and their first tour starts mid-February. Not too shabby for a band whose first show wasn’t even four months ago.
G.L.O.S.S. takes on the form of hardcore punk. It’d be easy to compare G.L.O.S.S. to a riot grrrl or otherwise generic feminist punk group, but it would be foolish and incredibly irresponsible to stop there—G.L.O.S.S. is not, in any way, some nostalgic grrrl reincarnate; they go further. They have picked up where riot grrrl left off, filled in the blank spaces, taken a look at the blind spots, and are adding new elements which conglomerate to form a whole new thing altogether, and it’s so much better and more complex. They’re queer, they’re loud, and they’re angry, which is why you absolutely need to listen.
The five-song demo is packed with an aggression and strength that could only ever come from lived experience. Loud, fast, angry as hell, they sing songs of inclusion while baring their teeth. Yet there is a commendable vulnerability to their songs and their anger, which opens up a safe space for other people to say “Hey, yeah, me too.” Their lyrics seem simple upon first listen, but they pack in multitudes of deeper meanings that open up over time.
The first song begins with vocalist Sadie yelling “They told us we were girls/how we talk dress look and cry” with all the pent up anger of someone who has experienced what it’s like to have an identity thrust upon them. “They told us we were girls/so we claimed our female lives/Now they tell us we aren’t girls/our femininity doesn’t fit,” the song goes on to say, pointing out the impossibility of adhering to any expectations because of double standards that come along with an oppressive gender binary. It’s about the struggle of finding an identity, and being denied the identity you stake claim to. The song goes on to unapologetically claim their identities despite all of this, and proclaim themselves as “Girls Living Outside Society’s Shit.” The rest of the demo follows this theme an elaborates on it with songs that advocate solidarity and inclusivity, and reject harmful, violent cultural norms.
“Outcast Stomp” is anthemic in nature, telling the “outcasts, rejects, girls and the queers” to “take over” and uses looming instrumentation to create a sense of urgency. “Targets of Men” addresses violence against trans* women, demands respect, and threatens anyone who disrespects or intimidates them.
The band’s first mini-tour starts in Seattle on Feb. 24, but the group will be skipping over their hometown. Their next Olympia show is Friday Feb. 13 at the Clown Farm.
If the demo is any prediction of things to come from G.L.O.S.S. (and they are, as they proclaim, “from the future”), we all have something liberating to look forward to.