“Over the Counter” is a column by our music editor focusing on new and interesting music that isn’t featured so prominently. In this edition: new releases from G.L.O.S.S., Ra and Eula, plus shows from Obliterations, Sick Feeling and Anasazi.
“This is for the outcasts, rejects, girls and the queers”
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The New York Dolls. David Bowie. Genesis P-Orridge. Jayne County. Laura Jane Grace. The story of punk rock is one wrought with figures who challenge gender conceptions and heteronormativity, but, and I say this with only a demo to their name, perhaps never with the tenacity of Olympia, Washington’s G.L.O.S.S. Their seven minute hardcore primer begins with a stiff slap of reverb and a staunch proclamation, they’re “f*cking future girls, living outside of society’s shit.” G.L.O.S.S. are trans and not only are they sick of your labels, they’re proud and won’t be ruined by “straight America.” They’re flawless bitches.
“This makeup is for my eyes/these fishnets are for my thighs/this walk is how I got through life/You want the pepper spray first or the pocket knife?” Lyrics like those from “Targets of Men” convey a penetrating honesty that sets these girls apart from other trans bands and quite honestly, from some of the surface level theatrics of their predecessors. Their no-frills approach could inspire a generation of individuals struggling with identity, and it’s possible that no band will feel as vital as the trans community continues to make significant political and social gains. You can download their demo for free.
From Malmö to Delaware
Ra are a fourpiece who walk the fashionable line between post-punk and shoegaze, but with the sort of aggressive, Scandanavian bent you’d expect from a band who call Malmö, Sweden home. They recently shared their first single, “The Void,” off their upcoming LP. It has a bit more of a 90s-alt bite to it than some other bands who occupy this space. The vocals aren’t just another layer obscured by reverb; they ring loud and clear at the top of the mix. They remind me most of the criminally underrated early 90s band Drop Nineteens, who were one of the few Boston bands who weren’t trying to sound like Mission of Burma way back when. You might remember that one song they had on the Adventures of Pete & Pete soundtrack.
Anyway, I digress. These guys have been honing their craft since 2012 and are preparing to release their debut LP, Scandinavia, on March 3 via Adrian Recordings. They’ll share a stage with A Place to Bury Strangers for a hometown show in April and their video premiered on BrooklynVegan, so it’s reasonable to expect they’ll make their way to New York at some point this year.
If you’ve been to a show in Brooklyn the past couple of years, odds are you’re familiar with Eula. They’ve got a certain presence about them that sticks out amongst their peers. Much of that can be attributed to their demonstrative frontwoman Elyse Lamb, whose energy commands any room she plays to. But mostly it’s the music. Now, I’m a sucker for art-punk. My favorite band is Sonic Youth and if I could live here at any time it’d probably be about 1981 or so. I get all gushy about Teenage Jesus and the Jerks and Glenn O’Brien’s TV Party and Permanent Vacation. So pretty much everything about Eula’s sound and presentation has always hit that soft spot for me. They’re callbacks to THAT New York.
Their new record, Wool Sucking was produced by Martin Bisi, who’s got Swans and Sonic Youth on his CV, and it only takes a couple of seconds to hear those touchstones on their single, “Like No Other.” The record is out on March 3 via Lamb’s Famous Swords collective and you can celebrate its release at Palisades at a real ass New York record release party on March 5. Eula will share the stage with No Bra, Gull, and Martin Bisi with Swans’ Algis Kizys, Sonic Youth’s old drummer Bob Bert and Pop. 1280’s Ian Campbell. Tickets will be available at the door.
If you’ve followed this column at all, then you know that I’ve got lots of love for post-hardcore jesters Sick Feeling, Don Devore’s (Icarus Line, Ink & Dagger) new band. They’re part of a killer bill this Friday night with Obliterations and Manimal at Saint Vitus that will satisfy readers of this column and its more demonic counterpart alike. Tickets are still on sale.
Lastly a quick reminder: Tickets for New York’s Alright went on sale this past Saturday. If you’re still on the fence about copping tickets to a couple of the events, whet your appetite this Saturday night at Palisades. Some of the best local bands at the fest, Anasazi, L.O.T.I.O.N., Sadist and Nandas, are playing and tickets are just $7.