2 From 1 : G.L.O.S.S.

In this post we revisit and celebrate the two classic releases of G.L.O.S.S. (Girls Living Outside Society's Shit), a short lived Hardcore band that managed to express their opposition against any kind of minority repression in the most true and vocal way…

G.L.O.S.S. (Girls Living Outside Society's Shit) formed in 2014 after vocalist Sadie “Switchblade” Smith (vocals) and guitarist Jake Bison (guitar) moved from Boston, Massachusetts to Olympia, Washington. The line up consisted of Corey Evans (drums), Sadie “Switchblade” Smith (vocals), Jake Bison (guitar), Tannrr Hainsworth (guitar), and Julaya Antolin (bass). Smith a trans woman herself felt that the hardcore scene of that time did not adequately express the problems and the opinions of the minorities and especially of socially marginalised people like her. Yet she had no desire of being apologetic to anyone or remain just accepted thus chose to maintain a more activist stance. In an interview with the feminist website Bust (Bust.com), Smith mentioned :

We (G.L.O.S.S.) are a hardcore band interested in inciting violence, and we wanted to have a name that emphasised our unwillingness to acquiesce to social expectations. But I’m currently more interested in being part of a social movement than I really am in playing hardcore music, so I think for me the excitement of the band is that it feels dangerous, and it feels threatening to the establishment.

This militant and non-apologetic stance was very well captured in the 5 tracks of their debut demo cassette. The 8 minutes of ferocious hardcore that was included in this cassette, was an open call to war to all the queer and transexual people in the hardcore scene.

We're from the future, not from the past
We live our own way, not up history's ass
Won't reenact, won't perform their hardcore
The straight-boy cannon is a royal bore
The future, faggots and femmes
The future, not just any outcasts

(G.L.O.S.S. We’re from the Future)

Masculinity was the artifice, rip it away
Femininity, always the heart of us
Trans girls be free

(Masculine Artifice)

This is for the outcasts, rejects, girls and the queers
For the downtrodden women who have shed their last tears
Fighters, psychos, freaks, and the femmes
For all the transgender ladies in constant transition, cast out!

(Outcast Stomp)

They told us to die, we chose to live
They told us to die, we chose to live
Straight america, you won't ruin me

(Lined Lips and Spiked Bats)

Did I say you could look at me?
Did I say you could talk to me?
You really think we'd be friends?
Shut your fucking mouth and hang your head
I don't remember inviting your words
I don't remember inviting your gaze
I'd never asked your opinion of shit
My body, my rules, get on with it

(Targets of Men)

And if the first Demo was more personal triggered, self centred and contained lyrics focused on Smith’s sexuality, the second EP Trans Day of Revenge had a more broader lyrical content trying to be more open and inclusive in its message.

I want it to be a reminder that marginalised people are worthwhile and worthy of everything, and don’t need to hurt themselves and don’t need to give up, and don’t need to give into all the bull shit around them. I want it to be a record that feels healing and cathartic to listen to for people who have been harmed by institutionalised oppression.

Containing (again) 5 songs (played this time in less than 7 minutes) and being released in the wake of the Orlando shooting at Pulse Night Club (in which 49 gay and queer people, most Latin and people of colour, were murdered), Trans Day of Revenge was even more angry and savage.

I would say the anger in it is directed at the police, politicians, men, people who intentionally harm other people. I think it’s also directed at queer and trans people, marginalized people and even people who have been marginalized by the LGBT community. It’s really supposed to just be for trans people and queer people for the most part, and it’s fine if other people take things from it, but the amount of attention and commentary it gets from cis people is a little bit baffling. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter to me what these critics or do-gooders think about this band because it’s not about them.

With song titles like Give Violence a Chance and Fight which left no room for doubt or ambiguity and lyrics such as :

When peace is just another word for death
It's our turn to give violence a chance

(Give Violence a Chance)

I saw her face
Bruises and scars
Secondhand trauma
Tears me apart
Boot the fucker
Battery and abuse
Will be met with total violence

(Out from the Desk)

Fascist scum
Expected a parade
Your welcoming committee
Was an antifa brigade

(Fight)

Black trans women
Draped in white sheets
Beaten to death
Harassed by police
Homeless elders
Wander the streets
Trans day of revenge
Not as weak as we seem

(Trans Day of Revenge)

G.L.O.S.S. took a clear, non/pacifist stance against issues like police brutality, discrimination, fascism and domestic violence.

The EP contained the song We Live which being inspired by Smith’s personal experiences was a heartbreaking and agonising expression on behalf of all the kids who were sexually abused inside their families. It takes 1:15 minutes and 4 verses to painfully describe the emotional and guilty burden that every kid who was sexually mistreated by a relative, carries :

We live!
We live
Even as we wonder why
We live
With trauma locked inside
We fight
Against the urge to die
Parched for love and cast aside
Childhood shame, internal blame
Incest bore a complex pain
We live and die against the grain
For ourselves
We live
We live
For nights like this
Basements packed with burning kids
We scream, just to make sense of things
Studs and leather, survivors' wings
Childhood shame, internal blame
Incest bore a complex pain
We live and die against the grain
For ourselves
We live
With pride

Trans Day of Revenge, will forever stand a classic manifesto for queer and transgender people and generally for every individual abused and discriminated due to his/hers sexuality. It remains a militant and non apologetic statement that these people are not any more to be considered neither weak or easy targets.

Immediately after the release of the EP, Epitaph records offered G.L.O.S.S. a 50.000 USD contract in order to sign them, which they initially accepted seeing it as an opportunity to give an amount of this money to causes like Black Lives Matter. Soon though they decided to reject it due to Epitaph’s affiliation to Warner Bros, a decision which created some internal distress among the band members which in combination with the pressure generated from the ongoing publicity that they have started to receive, forced them during an interview with Maximum Rock and Roll magazine to announce their break up. Both band releases remain available in their Bandcamp page as “Name your price” downloads, with all the profits being donated to noble causes.

Note : all interview excerpts are coming from Bust.com