Last summer, I headed on over to what would be my third or fourth house show for one of my favorite bands, Tina Panic Noise. A band which has truly helped reignite the punk scene, but has also lifted the voices of the ever-growing LGBTQIA+ community here in Buffalo, NY. I was a sweaty ball of late June heat exhaustion, cramped inside the oak panel confines of a café nestled in the drunken, stumbling heart of Buffalo’s Allentown district. Yet it was all worth it. An incredible release party for their latest EP, White is the Color of Death.
At the start of the show, Isabel Cirilo, the lead vocalist, joined by rebellious musical cohorts; Shen on bass, Maxwell on guitar and Justin on drums; gave a brief, yet riveting speech addressing the growing number of murders among trans women across the U.S. and as one herself, had no problem saying: “I am sick of seeing my people die for being who they are, and I just wanna say I am no longer just fighting you, I’m fucking coming for you!”
This unbridled rage carries its weight throughout the album as a soundtrack for every broken home, every maimed childhood, every moment where a bedroom felt more like a panic room. Tracks like “Elinguation” and “Holiday” resemble a mix of Nirvana’s grunge, Minor Threat’s alienation, and L7’s ferocity. The band unleashes an aura of once-bottled angst onto a populous longing for a misery that understand theirs.
No matter the song, Tina Panic Noise ensures that with every bassline thump, every guitar strum, every drum break, every time a lip is pressed against the mic, that these actions are met with a battle cry. One undeterred by the times, one that realizes the turbulent generation, the expanse of bigotry, a president holding a nation and its marginalized communities hostage. Tina Panic Noise may be local for now, but with a courage to flip two birds high and mighty in the air and weaponize dread into a protest, their sound is a defiant hum refusing to go unnoticed.
J.B. Stone is a performance poet and writer from Brooklyn, now residing in Buffalo. He is the author of two chapbooks, A Place Between Expired Dreams And Renewed Nightmares (Ghost City Press 2018) and forthcoming, Fireflies & Hand Grenades (Stasia Press 2020). His poetry, reviews, and prose have appeared in Five : 2 : One Magazine, Crack the Spine, YES Poetry, Maudlin House, Peach Mag, Glass, Empty Mirror and elsewhere. He is the Reviews Editor at Coffin Bell Journal. the newest contributor for Step Out Buffalo and a street team member for Just Buffalo Writing Center (JWBC). He tweets at @JB_StoneTruth.
Medha Singh is music editor at Queen Mob’s Teahouse, and a researcher for The Raza Foundation. She functions as India Editor for The Charles River Journal, Boston. She is also part of the editorial collective at Freigeist Verlag, Berlin. Her first book of poems, Ecdysis was published by Poetrywala, Mumbai in 2017. She took her M.A. in English literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and studied at SciencesPo, Paris through an exchange program, as part of her interdisciplinary master’s degree. She has written variously on poetry, feminism and rock music. Her poems and interviews have appeared widely, in national and international journals. Her second book is forthcoming. She tweets at @medhawrites from within the eternal eye of the New Delhi summer.