There aren’t many things better than discovering a new artist whose music you instantly connect with. Whether they’re touring the nation making their name or supporting big acts globally, we’re here to put a spotlight on the musically-gifted people with a bright future ahead of them. This week, we’re introducing you to Brighton grunge trio, Gender Roles.
For Fans Of: Fangclub, Demob Happy, Bloody Knees
Essential Listening: ‘You Look Like Death’, ‘Hey With Two Whys’, ‘School’s Out’
If you’ve seen Gender Roles live, you’d be surprised to find that enigmatic cotton-candy-haired Tom Bennett hasn’t been the front man he so naturally embodies for as long as it might seem. Along with his two bandmates – Jared Tomkins on bass and Jordan Lilford on drums – they seem like total naturals, but the Gender Roles journey only really began four years ago, after a chance meeting at Lilford’s Brighton Pride party on the coast they all call home.
From there, they nursed on their hometown’s DIY scene, taking advantage of Brighton’s creative melting pot to grow as a band, allowing it to shape them in a way that would forever imbue some of that garage aesthetic in whatever they created. Two EP’s and many hours of labour later, they were out touring with prominent bands such as post-hardcore saviours, Touché Amoré, skate-punk kids, PUP and the iconic Jamie Lenman.
Their crowning achievement came in the shape of this year’s debut album, PRANG. A strong contender for Album of The Year, PRANG showcases both the noise and depth one could expect from a band bridging the gap between grunge and punk. It’s unsurprising that they’ve also made great strides in winning critics over, with DIY declaring them “The UK's most vibrant young punk prospects”, whilst the likes of Annie Mac, Huw Stephens and Alex Baker have all given previous singles ‘Hey With Two Whys’ and ‘You Look Like Death’ the radio play it deserves.
‘You Look Like Death’ has all the hooks of a pop-punk anthem, which makes for one helluva sing-a-long, and it’s elevated even further by the distortion and frenetic energy Gender Roles can only accomplish by leaning further into their grungier side. Throughout the album, Bennett’s voice shifts effortlessly between mellow, almost lazy drawls and urgent, raw overdrive, which further conveys the angst that’s always bubbling right beneath the surface of their songs.
So, what’s next for Gender Roles after having seemingly nailed the winning formula for a phenomenal debut album and indie-punk as a genre? The answer is actually pretty simple; they’ll continue to take their music to masses around the country by heading out with Blackpool punks, Boston Manor, in November. The timing couldn’t be better either, having just completed their very own headline tour in support of PRANG. See them alongside fellow support act, Modern Error, on the following dates:
The Old Fire Station: Wednesday 6 November w/ Boston Manor Buy Tickets
O2 Academy Leicester: Friday 8 November w/ Boston Manor Buy Tickets
O2 Academy Sheffield: Thursday 14 November w/ Boston Manor Buy Tickets
O2 Academy Liverpool: Friday 15 November w/ Boston Manor Buy Tickets
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