Friday, October 31, 2014

Limp Wrist

Hardcore punk is a subculture mired with so much social commentary and gimmickry that, at some point, the lines would eventually have to blur. The relationship between homosexuality and NYHC has been discussed before, particularly the first wave of the New York scene's disgust and contempt for it. This wasn't true for the rest of USHC. Ironically enough, two proto-queercore bands were based out of Texas: The Dicks & Big Boys. For them, being gay in such a conservative locale was a study in absurdity and their lyrics reflected it.

The problem with much of the queercore genre is that a lot of it is more a "gays with instruments" spectacle than it is an actual hardcore experience. The band Limp Wrist, formed in 1998 Albany & led by Chicago hardcore legend Martin Sorrondeguy (of Los Crudos fame), aimed to change that. In an interview with gay publication Frontiers magazine, the band famously declared that "they put the core back in queercore". This statement is put to the test at every Limp Wrist show to this day. A typical Limp Wrist audience has two groups: 1.) hardcore punks who love Limp Wrist and are prepared to mosh and stage dive and 2.) gay normos who are going to support a queercore band. The ensuing result of the show is always the same and is always funny. Hardcore kids stage diving on and moshing into said normos. The normos being upset that their pseudo-political experience has been wrecked by some heathen punks who were out to ruin their good time.

Here's what can be said for Limp Wrist and the modern queercore genre. There's usually two problems with the queercore genre that make it so niche and less accessible and precisely why Limp Wrist are so beloved. First, the politics of the queercore genre get in the way of the music. A lot of the time, a queercore band will sacrifice sound for the message and in the process the only people who will listen to them are other gays. That's all well and good, but you're not really getting the message out as much as you're just preaching to the choir. Second, bands that try to be funny and make it into a joke. To some degree, Limp Wrist is guilty of this. However, for the times the band lacks gravitas, they always make up for it in the music's level of aggression.

After all this time, Limp Wrist are still head and shoulders the best queercore band since The Dicks & Big Boys. Martin does not lack perspective in his lyrics nor does the band lose pace in their sound. They're funny when they want to be and they'll punch you in the mouth when they need to. It is a perfect personification of what queercore ought to be. Forthright, accessible, and, above all else, on their own terms. Limp Wrist doesn't have a mission statement and they don't have a platform. They play fast hardcore with a sharp sense of humor and a mind for the music first.

Included is their entire discography.

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