International Women’s Day raises awareness of the significant lack of female representation in sooo many areas. One place where I hope we can see more equity is here in our local music scene.
It’s painfully obvious though that women are largely absent from heavy/hard and alternative line-ups, shows and playlists. I remember receiving a media release for ‘Stand Atlantic’ which opened with the line ‘Female fronted pop rock outfit…’ and realised no one EVER starts a press release with ‘Male fronted rock group..’ or ‘Asian fronted metal outfit…’ or ‘Queer fronted indie group..’ E-V-E-R.
Statements like those invite potential new listeners to engage in bias.
Let that sink in. Before asking the dumb question ‘why aren’t more women in hard/heavy bands’… start with ‘why are women singled out, objectified and then dismissed based on gender before even being heard?
Do you wanna hit some high notes and jump around the place? Start here:
Stand Atlantic – picking up on the catchy pop rock of early 2000’s drive thru/epitaph bands and adding a healthy dose of Australian attitude and guts. Seriously, this band is going from strength to strength. After a big 2018, I think 2019 will be bigger for them.
The Playbook – top of your lungs, air punching, feel good..or sad pop punk. Uncompromising in attitude, delivery or standards. Their last album was unreal too!
Redhook – taking the anthemic pop-punk vibe and bruising it with heavy groove laden riffs. One part nu-metal, one part easy-core. All gold. Follow them now so you can say you were into em before they blew up.
Maybe you wanna wreck every fucking thing in your way with that energy:
The Beautiful Monument – Don’t sleep, 2019 is their year. Hard, melodic and very accessible but never lacking in depth. Solid solid solid band. Get behind it.
Reliqa – INCREDIBLE heavy music from a bunch of too-good-for-their-own-good kids. Surprise hit of 2018 for me. (disclaimer: everyone under 25 is a kid to me cos I’m old)
Drown This City – If Alex’s vocals don’t terrify you they will inspire you. I swear the band swings between prog, metal and hardcore genres with the ease of a band light years beyond what we deserve. I pray that there’s more coming from this lot in 2019. So brutal!
Outright HC – This music is so defiantly challenging and hard. Straight up hardcore that calls out social issues, injustice and touches on real world issues. Uncompromising and relentless in their array of old/meets-new hardcore.
Pagan – get the fuck out of the way of anybody listening to this outfit. They’re either dancing..or rage quitting the bullshit mediocrity to the sweet sweet tune of metallic punk rock! They turn heads.
High Tension – as above. They slay. Play it loud. Throw something.
Maybe you don’t need words, you need to disassociate, tune out or happily float away?
SEIMS – follow the white rabbit down these mathy/prog guitar lines and get lost.
Divide & Dissolve – drone..doom..sludge 2 piece who have a lot to say..but they don’t use words. Dark stuff.
Fourteen Nights At Sea – sitting somewhere between post-metal and just ambient guitar music that gets beautifully heavy…you can either contemplate the darkest recesses of existence or cry as you re-build your pedal board to this incredible music.
*Please note that you can adequately froth and hype a band without referencing gender.
**Also note that once you click on the links, the identity of each member is immediately evident and does not need a preamble or some special allowance.
Furthermore.. where some progress has definitely begun, take stock of how many of these artists have a female vocalist. Admit the male dominated music scene is still entirely intimidating for many people despite the ones fronting these acts who are in particular women.
So what to do? Get behind them. Don’t like em? Check out another. Just like usual.
The more diversity we see in our entertainers, our artists and performers, the more young people will identify with it, take it up and explore for themselves.
You can’t aspire towards something you haven’t seen.