Meet Body Horrors, the Perth newcomers making blistering, queer-punk anthems
As we premiere their debut single Hate Crimes (At Paramount), Perth's punk world gains an exciting new force worth watching.
Header image by Brandon Ward.
It's no secret that Perth's punk community is one of the most brilliant in Australia at the moment, adding versatility and diversity - in both sound and image - as new additions join the ranks on a near-monthly basis. Throughout the course of 2021, we've introduced several of these newcomers to the world, and as the year's end approaches, we're excited to be welcoming yet another in the form of Body Horrors, a five-piece making queer, rough-around-the-edges punk rock that breathes new life into a continually growing and consistently impressive scene.
Bonding together in early 2021, Body Horrors have been quick to leave their imprint within West Australia's next generation. Despite not having a single out yet (more on that in a second, though...), their live shows capture the unbridled energy and passion that relishes within their songwriting, as they gaze through their experiences and reflections with this no-holds-barred, upfront energy that soars on the stage. It's a brilliant, if not intimidating watch; the captivating presence of a band like Amyl & The Sniffers replicated on a louder, more passionate scale via Body Horrors, as their personal and upfront themes burst with life.
Now, we're stoked to see this vision through recorded material too, as we premiere their debut single Hate Crimes (at Paramount) today, and with it, introduce Body Horrors as a multi-dimensional and incredible new act to Western Australian music. Hate Crimes seems like an encapsulation of Body Horrors' expertise, emphasising their honest and often-political songwriting as they delve into their lives and experiences in a way that doesn't drift past the heavier and more triggering moments - something Hate Crimes takes the time to stop on.
"Hate Crimes (at Paramount) is a queer anthem, painting a picture of the LGBTIQ+ experience against the backdrop of Perth landmarks. The lyrics celebrate the city’s rich queer culture, that we hope many of our listeners will recognise as lived experiences of their own, such as dates in Hyde Park or the newish museum," the band say on the single. "The song discusses the realities that we still face in the absence of these safe spaces, attempting to honour the safety and identity that we gain from the queer community, whilst breaking away from the echo chamber, into the unfortunate realities of homophobia that are still deeply entrenched in wider society. The overall theme is that if you’re queer and have or haven’t come out, we understand you and stand with you no matter what."
It's a theme that comes to life through the passion and anger they channel from its inspiration, converting that into a loud burst of energy that shows off their rough-edged charm and the personality that shines through - something that we'll no doubt be seeing plenty more of in the work that's to come.
For now, however, Hate Crimes (at Paramount) is a striking introduction to a band that have a whole lot ahead of them, and we can't wait to see where it goes. Catch them launch the song at The Bird on November 12th - more information and details here - but in the meantime, take a listen to Hate Crimes below, and better introduce yourself to Body Horrors underneath:
Tell us about yourself?
We’re a five-piece punk outfit that formed in early 2021. We’ve got Eden the shit-stirrer and screamer, their equally insane sister Isla thumping the tubs, George the dad and heart of the band, Josie the chemistry and synth wizard, and Emma our badass shred lord lead guitarist who is also the newest edition to the Body Horrors family.
What’s your music like? What does it sound like? What kind of themes does it usually cover?
Body Horrors is fast, loud and passionate. All of our songs are inspired by our own experiences, and those that are close to us. Our lyrics usually talk about events or topics that have been fuelled by anger, with this high energy taken onto the stage. We draw inspiration from L7, Amyl and the Sniffers, Sonic Youth and Petrol Girls, including many of the amazing Perth acts such as Lauren and the Goodfights, as well as the strong lyrical themes of Stella Donnelly.
What are your production and writing processes usually like?
We usually write all our songs collaboratively in a jam environment. Most of the time we just make lots of noise for a while until we start to piece little ideas together and before we know it, we’ve got a song. Sometimes everything comes about really quickly but other times it takes a few jams. The lyrics usually stem from big gossip sessions about things that we’re feeling/experiencing at the time, with either Eden and George taking on the vocals.
Can you tell us a bit about your debut single?
Hate Crimes is an anthem for the queers of Perth. The song was written from the perspective of George and their friend Millie, and paints a picture of the queer experience against the backdrop of Perth landmarks. The lyrics celebrate the rich queer culture in Perth, that we hope many of our listeners will recognise as lived experiences of their own, such as dates in Hyde Park, or the newish museum, as well as other iconic queer essentials (e.g. carabiners) and fashion (docs, converse, sandals and socks) that are clearly recognisable.
Our song Hate Crimes pays homage to the Perth queer community, whilst discussing the realities that we still face in the absence of these safe spaces. The lyrics attempt to honour the safety and identity that we gain from the queer community, whilst breaking away from the echo chamber, into the unfortunate realities of homophobia that are still deeply entrenched in wider society. Getting yelled at on the street for showing affection to your girlfriend, being called gay slurs, and even still, unfortunately being hate crimed. The lyrics discuss the nuances involved in coming out, and the dangers or circumstances that often encourage people to hide their identity. The overall theme is that if you’re queer and have or haven’t come out, we understand you and stand with you no matter what.
We hope this song acts as a relatable, nostalgic and empowering anthem for the queers of Perth, celebrating the community and the strength of each individual person who has gone through something similar.
What do you have planned for the rest of 2021 and beyond?
We’re planning to write a bunch of new songs over the summer, hopefully being ready to put together our first EP sometime in the new year. We are constantly writing music, meaning we should have a couple of singles to release before the EP is launched.
What do you want people to take away from your work?
It isn’t just music for us, we have a message. There are so many social and political issues, as well as personal perspectives and experiences that are important to share, with music being the most ‘palatable’ way of delivering these messages. Punk music is heavy, loud and sometimes angry, meaning the passion and intensity of what we are feeling can be transposed well.
Where can we find more of your music?
We’ve only got the one single out at the moment, on Spotify and Apple Music, but we’ll try to get some more goodies out soon!