The Essential Pansy Division
CD + DVD - $14.00
Back in print!
Pansy Division, one of the first openly gay punk bands in history, commemorates their fifteenth year together with this great collection of their tunes, music videos, and live videos!
The boys have picked out thirty songs- from classics like "Femme in a Black Leather Jacket" and "Homo Christmas" to their newer hits like "No Protection"- culled from their six outof-print Lookout! Records releases as well as their 2003 Alternative Tentacles release Total Entertainment. The included DVD with music videos, TV appearances and live clips (including some from their 1994 opening stint for Green Day), adds to the essentialness of this release!
Pansy Division formed in 1991 as a San Francisco-based, fully outof-the-closet punk band. Their catchy pop hooks and smart, outré lyrics found an enthusiastic audience- both queer and straight- all over the world. It probably isn't too much to say PD's outness and their humorously frank yet sensitive tackling of social and personal issues changed the world a little bit. They play gay pride events constantly, as well as play in other bands like Dirty Power, The Plus Ones, and The Avengers (yes, that Avengers!). This cd/dvd is a tidy summation of PD's groundbreaking career thus far, perfect for the uninitiated or the consummate fan who wants all the hits on one convenient disc.
Now let the debates about what other songs should've been on here commence!
"In the early 1990s, four gay-and- proud fellas infiltrating the notoriously macho punk rock scene was an even greater risk than it is today. But what better way to shake things up than with bold, hilarious lyrics about gay sex and homosexual relationships? San Francisco's Pansy Division became a quintessential "queercore" band, and by sharing the stage with Green Day, the Supersuckers, Mr. T Experience, and the Vandals, they exposed tons of people to a new musical subculture. The Essential presents 31 tracks plucked from the band's six out-of-print Lookout Records LPs, various EPs, compilations, and their recent Alternative Tentacles release.
Pansy Division's earliest material sounds similar to many of their Lookout counterparts-- short, upbeat pop- punk songs with catchy choruses, jangly guitars, pop-friendly backing vocals. In short, fun, three-chord punk at its best, all wrapped in song titles like "Boyfriend Wanted" or "The Cocksucker Club", both from the band's debut, Undressed.
The band's sound slightly evolved over the course of its first few albums. "Deep Water", from 1994's Deflowered, is an adolescent tale of raging hormonal confusion that blends quick acoustic guitar strumming with fuzzy punk rock. The band perfected the style on that album's "Groovy Underwear", a hilarious ode to whitey-tighties. Light-hearted love-and-lust tunes and upbeat tales of homoeroticism make up most of the tracks from Pileup (1995), Wish I'd Taken Pictures (1996), and More Lovin' From Our Oven (1997). Tracks such as "Horny in the Morning", "Dick of Death", and "Luv Luv Luv" are fine examples of how fun pop-punk can be, and "Headbanger" is a cheeky goof on heavy metal, complete with a guitar solo by "Al Shatonia", aka Metallica's Kirk Hammet.
By 1998's Absurd Pop Song Romance, the band's sound revealed a great deal of growth. The songs are slower, a little more complex, and the lyrical content begins to change a bit. "You're Gonna Need Your Friends", for example, is a sad tune about how friends help you through a breakup. On 2003's Total Entertainment! they dropped even more of their earlier humor and began to tackle heavier social issues. "No Protection" is a dance tune about the increasing HIV rate among gay men, and this boy-meets-boy story differs from so many of their earlier songs when our narrator turns down sex when his potential partner refuses to wear a condom.
While the social climate in the U.S. has changed considerably since Pansy Division first started-- despite the crass use of anti-homosexual ballot measures as a tool to mobilize right-wing voters, support for gay rights has increased in the past two decades-- there are still a lot of important things for queercore bands to say, and plenty of people, both straight and gay, for them to shock."- Pitchfork (7.8/10)
"Did you ever listen to Queen or Judas Priest and think to yourself, "Goddamn, this band is so gay" in a completely positive way without all the baggage of the pop culture bigotry that kept these bands in the closet in the first place? Well, Pansy Division is here to save the day. Pansy Division is, however, not a gimmic band. They are a pop-punk band that sings about relationships, sex, and the frustrations and joys therein, just like almost every other pop-punk band on the face of the planet.
The only difference being that these relationships and sexual adventures are with other men. Beyond the impact that this San Francisco based band had on queer involvement in a musical scene too often dominated by macho low forebrows, Pansy Division is just straight up one of the best pop-punk bands to come out of the Bay Area and The Essential Pansy Division documents this perfectly with 31 tracks and a DVD."- Zero Magazine
"Worst Cover of the Month""In the words of a very wise Weasel, 'For a bunch of faggots, Pansy Division sure don't have any balls.' You said it, pal... Wait, these guys are gay?"- Vice