[Originally appeared in Impose in February 2016]
Reality is awful. It’s unkind. Bigotry abounds. Let’s agree that we’re more or less directionless meat-sacks cast adrift on this dumb, spinning rock, which feels like a forever trap, though people eventually escape. This is something like the perspective of Gladiators, Are You Ready?, or G.A.Y.R., a transatlantic queercore trio that describes themselves as, “testo-fueled, spandex-clad, and enraged at the core.” Their mission? To clear the foul air of “the suffocating onslaught that claims to inspire something other than dread at the fate of terrestrial life.”
Their statement advocates a kind of anti-reality, articulated through future punk. Don’t like the reality you’re living in? Fuck that, then, start something new. “If there is nothing to give a fuck about, don’t feign the zeal in the hope that delusions can be substituted for reality,” the band writes. “If there’s nothing to give a fuck about, then make something worth giving a fuck about; something worth fucking with and about.”
That sentiment pervades the actual music on their new EP, Greatest Hits. It’s two guitar-free songs of clanging punk that pivots between harmonious and messy. It’s gladiator music for a new kind of warrior–one determined to make the most of whatever time we have left on this dumb, spinning rock. G.A.Y.R. is brutal, catastrophic—the sound of one reality crumbling and another exploding into place.