By now you probably know a depressing amount about the shooting at Orlando gay nightclub Pulse that claimed the lives of at least 49 people early Sunday morning. It's hard to know how to move forward from the deadliest such atrocity in modern U.S. history, because nothing relevant has changed since the last time a mass killing dominated the nation's headlines—that is, this December, when a married couple killed 14 in San Bernardino, California. (The New York Times maintains a running list
of mass shootings dating back to the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007.) In tragedy I often feel as though my words are useless, and I turn to music to distill down the complexities that are too difficult to sift through any other way. And this time I have G.L.O.S.S., aka Girls Living Outside Society's Shit, to thank for their help.
Hailing from Olympia, Washington, G.L.O.S.S. play ferocious hardcore punk that confronts the fear, brutality, discrimination, and marginalization that afflict queer and trans people in our communities. The group's molten debut, a 2015 demo, showcases their righteous anger and laser-focused musicality—their songs are harsh and tense but powerfully melodic. When trans front woman Sadie Switchblade screams about heteronormative violence on "Targets of Men," her acidic delivery and frenetic pace still leave room for plenty of swing in her vocals.
On Monday, G.L.O.S.S. dropped the digital version of their new seven-inch, Trans Day of Revenge
. The group had set the EP's release date before the attack in Orlando, and Sadie announced its imminent arrival Saturday afternoon
on Twitter. But the homophobic bloodshed at Pulse makes the messages on Trans Day of Revenge
feel even more urgent and necessary. On "We Live" Sadie shouts, "We live and die / Against the grain / For ourselves we live / With pride." When killers filled with hate come for your people, simply continuing to live becomes a form of protest.