Shoutout: Payasa

(Photo credits: Martin Gil)

Did you wake up today and wish that I’d tell you about a new Lake County, IL band, featuring a small, very angry person, calling some very unlucky subject a pendejo, set to hardcore? Well, that’s a really, really specific request, but I’ve got you covered - here's Payasa.

Payasa recently put out their  long-awaited first demo on 4/20. They’ve got a really cool old-school punk rock vibe that makes them fun and danceable, while still undeniably biting and aggressive. This is hardcore that appeals to a seasoned fan, but also something that someone who may be new to the genre could get down with.

As I mentioned above, Payasa is full of aggression - but not without cause. My favorite track on their demo is "Muñeca" (the Spanish word for “doll”), which vocalist Brittany describes as a dedication to her mother and other women of color and their experiences with sexism and racism. Payasa’s outspoken support of equality  goes beyond the typical white hardcore vocalist muttering “fuck racism, fuck sexism, fuck ___ism” between songs for claps. The proud interlacing of Latinx culture, with a full-on angry verse in Spanish from both Brittany and featured vocalist Martin Gil in “Egoísta,” is the kind of passion and representation that hardcore needs more of.

The fact that the members of this band aren’t super familiar faces in other groups just makes them sound all the more unique compared to others in the area. Brittany’s vocals are especially refreshing. The rawness adds a distinctive intensity that makes Payasa so difficult to compare to other bands. If I had to choose, I’d say they seem right at home alongside bands like Forced Impact, who also toe the line between traditional youth crew and something that is more individually theirs.

I've had the privilege to see them play once, but I'd love to see them a lot more in the future. They’ve shared the stage with other hardcore bands, skramz bands, and everything in between - in fact, you can catch them at the show below with Midwest metalcore giants Sworn In and Barrier, as well as fellow Lake County residents, Skull Trophy.

If you slept on tickets, no worries - listen to Payasa’s demo via Bandcamp below.


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