7 May 2017

[Enter Queen Zee and the Sasstones]

As someone that goes through weeks of listening solely to tubthumping, filthy garage rock, even I can unhappily confirm the longheld criticism that it's a genre a bit too dominated by a certain brand of machismo. Whilst there has been no shortage in bands that feature musicians that aren't white, straight, and male, a look back on the genre's history reveals it to be a haven for angry young men (who, to be fair, historically have things to be angry at) and there'll always be a worry that garage will remain a breeding ground for masculine ideals. So with that in mind, enter Queen Zee and the Sasstones, our heroes for the evening.
But don't you dare suggest this article comes from a place of straight male guilt, that the hyperbole I'll fall onto in the next sentence (and beyond) is lazy tokenism. I saw this band over the last week supporting the almighty Table Scraps, and I can confirm that they're one of the most energetic, one of the most dangerous sounding, and one of the next great garage rock greats.

Queen Zee, frontperson of the Sasstones is the ultimate frontperson. Prancing and strutting around the stage like a cagey tiger, their demeanour on stage is nothing short of menacing. A stage persona that combines the masculine and the feminine; when I saw them, their shocking pink hair was impossible to look aware from amidst the garage rock furore, whilst jeans with the word "ASSTONES" on the behind are the perfect piece of self aware self merchandising.

This post comes to you with its own topical hook though. The Sasstones have just aired their debut single Sissy Fists on the internet, and it's a fucking corker. Dangerous-sounding guitars encircle a rumbling bassline, in what sounds like The Gories on steroids, whilst Queen Zee urges with increasing screaming urgency for you to "raise your sissy fists, raise your sissy fists". A thunderous call to arms, it's a kind of punk rock devoid of all cliche. Danger, passion and noise meet in a violent clusterfuck of intense garage rock.

Whilst definitely exciting because they're a new, angry voice for the queer scene to champion, Queen Zee is primarily going to take the world by storm with their dangerous hellstorm of bloodthirsty, gritty garage rock. If you can see The Sasstones live, make sure you do it, but if not, giving the single (below) a whirl will have to do.

(Words: Cal Cashin)