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Ready to Fight: A “Contentious” New EP


In the hands of Minneapolis quartet Contentious, there’s no separation between music and activism. The group’s personnel of queer-identified musicians is itself a challenge to homogeneity in aggressive music, directly in line with the Profane Existence view of punk and hardcore as forms of expression that belong to everyone.

The Contentious EP opens with a wrenching sample of a woman asking a man to truly consider — even though his understanding will always be limited — widespread violence against women. In that song (and throughout the EP), Natalie Grace Krueger’s vocals add a serrated edge to no-bullshit D-beat. Imagine Forever Comes Crashing-era Jacob Bannon screaming atop Doom’s feral crust. “Fuck Your Magazine Covers//We Demand Liberation” decries neoliberal back-patting following Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover, reminding people that trans lives are still very much under attack.

The lo-fi production of the Contentious EP makes it feel like an artifact of the pre-Internet, tape-trading underground, imbuing it with an authenticity that might get dulled by a glossy sheen. That rawness also doubles as a rallying cry for listeners to become musicians themselves.

Upcoming Show:
4/7 — Minneapolis — Mortimer’s w/ Moodie Black, New Primals, Scrunchies

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