Mattachine – “Sisyphus”

In the past two months, the Virginia screamo wreckers Infant Island have released two absolutely incredible records, the EP Sepulcher and the full-length Beneath. And now Infant Island singer/guitarist Alexander Rudenshiold, who apparently wasn’t already busy enough, has unveiled the existence of another new band called Mattachine. They’ll release their debut EP Isolation As A Form Of Torture next month. It goes extremely fucking hard.

Mattachine’s music is closer to straight-up hardcore than Infant Island’s is. They play with a metallic frenzy, and they indulge in the time-honored traditions of angry-chimpanzee throat-shred screams and everybody-kill-each-other-now mosh-part breakdowns. Their songs are specifically about gay rage. DM’ing with me recently, Rudenshiold described the band with the genre names “homoviolence,” “meatdown hardcore,” and “grindrcore,” all of which are better names than queercore.

Mattachine have shared “Sisyphus,” the opening track from “Isolation As A Form Of Torture,” and it’s an absolute ripper. It’s also one of those songs that gets better once you read the lyrics: “The world may say that the way we fuck is wrong/ But friction between men is all I fucking want.” Listen below.

Talking to Brooklyn Vegan, Rudenshiold says:

These songs are sort of a reaction to what I see as a cultural ostracization from hardcore that gay men feel. Between cultural expectations of gay men to be effeminate, and the pervading belief that the hardcore scene is generally the purview of jocks, it’s not always a space that I (and other gay men that I know) have felt comfortable in. It’s a microcosm of society (yes, I said it) at-large in that sense, and while obviously things are changing and there are other bands making inroads — it’s not hard to find overt and latent homophobia hanging around your local hardcore scene.

While trying to tread the line between being political and not-too-serious, Mattachine is simultaneously a statement about and a parody of trends in hardcore today — while also being, in my biased opinion, hard as fuck. Conceptually, this band has been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, so being able to record this with my boyfriend, Justin, and our friend Michael from Black Matter Device (though he is no longer actively in the band) felt incredibly satisfying. It’s definitely a shitshow, but it’s a fun one at the very least.

It’s not a shitshow at all. The Isolation As A Form Of Torture EP is out 6/5 on Zegama Beach Records.