Pansy Division

'Quite Contrary'

CD Review By: James G. Carlson

Pansy Division is back with the follow-up to the cult band’s 2009 album That’s So Gay (Alternative Tentacles). Titled Quite Contrary, this new Pansy Division full-length is fourteen tracks of the band’s signature punk rock sound. Speaking of the Pansy Division’s sound, being that for the most part it has existed at the intersection between punk and pop, it is kind of what I imagine a collaborative project between The Dead Milkmen and The B-52s might be like, or something along those lines. Quite Contrary is the album that marks Pansy Division’s 25th anniversary as a band; an important release from an important band, to be sure.

Pansy Division, pioneers of the queercore movement, were one of the first open all-gay bands in punk rock. What’s more, the members turned out to do what they set out to do pretty well, hence Pansy Division’s cult following over the years. Now, after six albums, comp appearances, live album and best-of releases, a DVD documentary, a bunch of 7” records, a handful of lineup changes, and countless shows, Pansy Division is still at it. And Quite Contrary, the band’s seventh album, is a decidedly more mature offering from the band, dealing less with humor and risqué themes and more with meaningful, personal relationships, as well as views against bigoted right-wing religious fanatics and socio-political issues.

In addition to Quite Contrary, Alternative Tentacles is releasing a 7” of two Pansy Division songs. Side A is “Blame it on the Bible” (which also appears on Quite Contrary), and Side B is “Neighbors of the Beast” (which is only available on the 7” release).

Standouts on Quite Contrary include: “Love Came Along,” “You’re on the Phone,” “I’m the Friend,” “Blame it on the Bible,” and “Too Much to Ask.” There is also a very cool cover of The Pet Shop Boys’ synth-pop song “It’s a Sin,” on which Pansy Division puts its punk rock stamp.

Both the Quite Contrary album and Blame it on the Bible 7” will be available from Alternative Tentacles on September 9, 2016.

On September 20, in support of the new material and to celebrate 25 years of Pansy Division, the band will be hitting the road for a handful of US tour dates.