Release: CD EP / Digital
Label: Hell Hath No Fury Records
I really wish to see some more hype churning around the growing wave of women, non-binary, queer and trans folks that are sweeping over the UK’s punk scene for quite a while now! A multitude of great bands & artists as diverse in their sound and aesthetics as Screaming Toenails, Dream Nails, Guttfull, Menstrual Cramps, Tuffragettes, Bitch Hunt, IRN Brunette, and others are absolutely crushing it by practicing radical self-love and challenging heteronormativity & toxic masculinity within the scene.
Released in August 2020 by the Manchester-based label Hell Hath No Fury, BYENARY’s debut EP is a real standout among the latest releases hailing from the UK. This queercore duo comprised of multidisciplinary artist Chuck SJ on vox / guitar and drummer Jodi Freer—joined by sibling band Pink Suits for their theatrical drag shows on stage (see the video below)—contribute with six rocking, out-of-the-binary-box punk jams filled with vigorous rage, sarcasm and politics.
The record grabs you immediately by the throat with dissonant layers of garagey guitar work, archetypal cycling Crass-style percussions and a torrent of repetitive choruses that doesn’t let go until the end. As you can guess, the radical trans and gender-nonconforming message is at the forefront of the band’s existence—delivered with a passionate and honest performance. The vocals are defiantly angsty yet infectiously catchy and uplifting to anyone who’s listening to the words. The second track “We Will Not Be Silenced” is my favorite among the six pieces, an anthemic call-to-arms for queer, trans and marginalized communities to unapologetically take up space in a scene that was originally supposed to be about a real diversity and inclusivity.
We will not be silenced taking up this space. Taking up this space. We will not be silenced taking up this space. Taking up this space.
If bands like Bikini Kill and Bratmobile have revolutionized the punk scene with their audacious feminism in the early 1990s, bands like BYENARY are among those modern-day artists expanding the notion of feminism to include trans and non-binary folks, too; taking up the reins of a new generation of gender-nonconforming punks in the third decade of the new century. Let the queers keep taking up space! As BYENARY’s Chuck SJ recently tweeted, “Queers are for life, not just for June” 🏳️⚧️