Matador Review

A Quarterly Missive of Alternative Concern

trans day of revenge by g.l.o.s.s.

reviewed by jim hepplewhite

Long story short: Olympia, WA’s Girls Living Outside Society’s Shit (G.L.O.S.S.) receives unwieldy praise from outlets that know nothing about hardcore punk. Tie this in with G.L.O.S.S. energizing a twice a decade anti-corporate backlash and there’s a great opportunity for genre tourists to write about the genre through G.L.O.S.S..

But that’s all on the media. So how’s Trans Day Of Revenge? It’s great. It’s also short and violent. Y’know, a hardcore punk record. If Trans Day Of Revenge is your introduction to the genre, welcome. It’s nice to have you.

Hardcore punk prides itself on terse, ultra dense bursts of energy. (Think swordfight scenes in samurai movies.) Trans Day Of Revenge has that in spades or, given G.L.O.S.S.’s commitment to community, perhaps hearts. The recording is unremarkable, which is to say, compared to most studio recordings, it sounds bad. Compared to the rest of the genre, it’s solid. Nothing’s lost in the mix, vocalist Sadie Switchblade sounds authoritative. The drums are fast, the guitars sharp. Sharp being loud and clear, not ominous.

Most of the minute length songs are about getting together with your friends and beating up assholes. Again, strongly within genre. In G.L.O.S.S.’s case, assholes means abusers, cops and rapists as opposed to meaning backstabbers, cops and people that slept with your girlfriend. I’m fond of the lyric “we live and die against the grain” (We Live), but I expect the more confrontational lyrics “if you don’t take flight / you’ll take a brick to the face” (Fight) get a bigger response live.

If I'm pressed into a single sentence description: Hyper-political INFEST performs CAREER SUICIDE’S Attempted Suicide. Ms. Switchblade's approach is not new, but the content, trans suffrage, probably is.

All the attention is based on what G.L.O.S.S. will do next, but hardcore is a genre that prioritizes making the most of this moment. Trans Day Of Revenge is the most talked about record from our corner of the industry this year, and to all our relief, it’s worth everyone’s time and attention.

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G.L.O.S.S. broke up just before publication, citing stress from an encroaching cult of personality. Their hearts were in the right place, and if hearing the record interests you, download Trans Day Of Revenge and form your own opinion. As for what the band meant, wait a couple years and find out. The desire for visibility is universal, and I’m not privy to the conversations among trans-identified hardcore kids.

I’ll leave two more doors open before closing this one:

  • If the lyrics are what moves you, there’s an entire queercore subgenre, but start with Limp Wrist. Their newest record that I’m aware of (which is also self-titled) is here.
  • If the music gave you a terrible smile, Attempted Suicide by Career Suicide is just as good.