Sunday, April 21 2024

In the revolutionary milieu of the mid-80s, a groundbreaking sub-genre of punk rock known as ‘Queercore’ surfaced within the LGBTQ+ community. Pioneering the exploration of themes encompassing prejudice, sexual and gender identity, and individual rights, Queercore swiftly became a cultural force in the ’90s, embraced by noteworthy bands like Pansy Division and Riot Grrrl. Now, stepping boldly into this transformative soundscape is Birmingham’s very own Resting B!tch Face unleashing their debut EP, ‘Sounds Gay, I’m in!‘ This release, strategically unveiled on the hallowed ground of International Women’s Day, not only marks the band’s foray into Queercore but also serves as a resounding testament to their commitment to elevating diverse voices and perspectives.

Resting B!tch Face skillfully blend elements of queercore protest punk, Britpop, and power pop, creating a musical landscape that mirrors their bold message. Their journey into the limelight began with the single ‘BYOB’, and now, ‘Sounds Gay, I’m in!’ stands as a testament to their rising influence in the underground music scene.

Their inaugural EP, ‘Sounds Gay, I’m in!’ emerges as a manifesto, with each track fearlessly addressing themes close to the band’s core. From serving as a rallying cry for body positivity and feminism to embracing unapologetic queer pride, the EP delves into the multifaceted struggles faced by the LGBTQ+ community. In a poignant musical narrative, Resting B!tch Face courageously confront issues such as fatphobia, racism, and misogyny, underscoring their commitment to using their art as a powerful tool for social change and advocacy.

The opening track, ‘Straight White Men‘ is an immediate attention-grabber with its catchy punk rock vibes. Gritty guitars, dynamic bass line and up-tempo drums form a powerful backdrop for well-crafted lyrics. The seamless blend of male lead vocals and female backing vocals, coupled with a memorable chorus that sticks in your head like an earworm, echoes the harmonious resistance against straight white male supremacy. It’s a standout anthem that mirrors the qualities of bands like Badflower. Personally, it’s my favourite song of the EP.

Cauterize The Critics‘ emerges as another standout track on the EP, captivating with its melodic brilliance, this time led by female vocals. The verses unfold in a spoken-word cadence, yet the absence of a traditional melody is subtle, thanks to a varied vocal range that keeps the audience thoroughly engaged. The chorus invites you to dance or jump, driven by the double bass of the drums. The song showcases masterful musical skills, highlighted by a perfectly placed guitar solo that hits the emotional sweet spot. The drum solos further intensify the energy. In line with Resting B!tch’s own description, the track serves as a ‘body positive anthem,’ delivering an energetic and impactful composition enriched with remarkable musical elements.

In ‘Good Girl’ I particularly love the sound of the bass. It has that same deep sound of Nirvana’s bass guitar in ‘Lounge Act’. The repetitive lyrics, “Don’t wanna be your good girl,” are catchy and easy to sing along with. Even though it’s punk, the vocals are solid. On the other hand, ‘Par For The Course‘ takes a different turn. It kicks off with a deep male vocal like something you’d hear from Frank Zappa. The song itself has a grungy alt-rock vibe, kind of like what Blood Red Shoes do. The vocals driven by the distorted guitars and battering drums give the song a lift.

In ‘Revolution,’ Resting B!tch Face takes a bold departure, delving headlong into a grunge-infused sound with a generous dose of alt-rock influences. The track boasts formidable raw rhythm guitars, but it’s the bass line that truly steals the show. Drawing parallels with the electrifying energy of ‘Killing in the Name’ by Rage Against the Machine, ‘Revolution’ injects an extra layer of melody, complemented by the powerful presence of female vocals. Serving as a resonant ode to the rebels of the ’90s, this track emerges as a potent new protest anthem, destined to have crowds roaring along in unison at festivals.

Closing out the EP is ‘Boss Bitch,’ a skilfully executed cover of Doja Cat’s pop hit. In this rendition, Resting B!tch Face transform the original into a robust heavy rock version that I personally prefer. The band infuses the track with a fresh perspective, delivering a spin that elevates it to new heights. The vocals, imbued with heightened emotion, surpass the original rendition, making ‘Boss Bitch’ an impactful and fitting conclusion to this energetically charged punk rock EP.

Resting B!tch Face manage to carve a niche within the power-pop-punk genre, drawing parallels to The Veronicas and The Teenage Idols mixed with The Sex Pistols, while maintaining a unique sound. The lyrics, rooted in genuine emotion, transform protest songs into anthems with real impact. It’s evident that Resting B!tch Face are not just making music but fighting for their ideals and beliefs. ‘Sounds Gay, I’m in!’ is poised to captivate listeners, potentially becoming a fan favourite and solidifying Resting B!tch Face as a rising force in the music scene. With their unwavering passion, a future performance at Glastonbury may not be too far off.

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Review

Summary


Resting B!tch Face’s debut EP, ‘Sounds Gay, I’m in!’ boldly navigates the revolutionary landscape of Queercore, positioning them as a rising influence in the underground music scene, especially highlighted by attention-grabbing tracks like ‘Straight White Men’ and ‘Cauterize The Critics.’ The EP fearlessly addresses a spectrum of issues close to the LGBTQ+ community’s heart, from body positivity to unapologetic queer pride and the ongoing struggles against fatphobia, racism, and misogyny.
87%

Rating

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About Author

Gee Nelson

Gee Nelson has been a musician, producer and songwriter since the '90’s. Besides music Gee loves reading, writing, watching British sitcoms and playing board games. His biggest influences are Green Day, Nirvana, Offspring and Eels. His favourite genre is 90’s and early 00’s (indie) rock.

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