Having first formed back in 2017, Margate based queer punk-rock duo pink suits incorporate politically driven rage, dance and even theatre into their work, exploring issues of sexuality, mental health and a resistance of binary gender. Blasting into our ears at the end of last year with their raging single ‘Fake Great Britain’, they are now set to release their debut album political child later this month.
A collection of thirteen tracks, each as poignantly charged as the last, the album sets out pink suits’ manifesto with a raging, angst-driven energy. With just drums, a guitar and the riotous force of their voices, Lennie and Ray offer an inclusive Feminist rebellion to bring about radical change. Truly a soundtrack for these times; a rallying cry to make our voices heard and fight for an upheaval of a neoliberal society.
Kicking off with ‘My Old Man’s A Dustman’, the album starts as it means to go on: with a seething, all-too-poignant social commentary on the increasingly terrifying state of the UK right now. As intense beats and whirring hooks provide the backdrop for gritty blazing vocals, an impending sense of doom is created, reflecting the way many of us are feeling right now and the urgency felt in the need to “… strip authority from all abusive powers”.
Continuing in a similar vein, ‘Decades Back’ and ‘Salute To The Sun’ ooze the duo’s quirky, playful energy as swirling punk-rock riffs race with an impassioned, riotous zest. Next up, stand out single ‘Fake Great Britain’ pretty much epitomises the message of political child as a whole. Propelled by a frenzied power and scuzzy hooks, it hits you with its raw, punk-fuelled lyricism raging against austerity and the fake ‘great’ ideals of a post-Brexit UK. With a ferocious passion, it’s a rallying cry against this government and the intolerance it promotes, its lies and the detrimental effects it’s had on all of our mental health. A perfect queer punk anthem inciting us to fight fascism with all our might.
Perhaps more uptempo in sound, ‘We Can Shout’ reflects on the power of protest and the need to stand up to authority. With the seething cry “we can break it from the inside out”, pink suits seem to assert the importance of spreading information and discrediting the fake news we are so often fed by the right wing press. Touching on a theme that is particularly resonant right now – with the government trying to take away our right to protest – the track manages to firmly lodge its important message in your ears with its catchy refrains and buoyant energy.
The next three tracks seem to stand alone as their own entities, stepping away from the trademark punk-driven force of the rest of the album, showcasing the many different sides to pink suits and their eclectic sonic capabilities. Whilst ‘Gold Girl’ treats us to a Riot Grrrl reminiscent angst-driven power as penetrating screams blast out across the scuzzy soundscape, ‘Be The Best’ is propelled by steady marching beats offering a tongue-in-cheek commentary on toxic masculinity, and addressing the damaging importance that the government places on the military and arms trade, as well as the dangerous patriotism rooted in the desire to fight against other nationalities. And then there’s ‘3AM’: what appears to be a soothing respite from the seething rage of other tracks as the duo take a twinkling moment of personal reflection.
Returning to their vibrant fist-clenching energy, the next two tracks awaken the senses with a racing force. Following ‘This Hole’, ‘Anarchist Wisdom’ offers a raging reflection on the prejudice that’s so rife in society – name-checking some of those responsible for spreading hatred, going against both morality and humanity. As a ferocious screech of “be a Feminist” blasts into the ears, I feel a shiver down my spine; with this immensely powerful sonic storm, pink suits just seem to magnificently capture the burning anger, frustration and sadness that so many of us are feeling right now.
Drawing the album to a close, the final three tracks continue with a similarly empowering energy. Following the seething statement of intent of the collection’s title track, ‘Scarred’ is propelled by a driving punk energy as it builds in tempo to a wonderfully frenzied climax. Finally, ‘Pink Suits Everyone’ may appear more melodic in sound than the majority of the album, but is no less pressing in its stirring intent. Offering a vibrant message of inclusivity and hope, here the duo urge us to come together and unite against the powers that seek to contain us.
With political child, pink suits have not only created a completely necessary and ferociously poignant listen, but have done so whilst oozing an infectious vibrant energy and colourful charisma, cementing each of their raging, yet catchy, offerings firmly in our ears, leaving us longing to catch their colossal, swirling power live (we may have news on that this week…).
political child offers a perfect riotous catharsis; an immense formidable force, coated in a rousing cacophony, calling us to arms in these truly terrifying times.
political child is out 16th April. It was recorded, mixed and mastered by Aim4 Recording, Canterbury.
Photo Credit: Kathryn A Betts