[$5 // Edition of 50 // http://straightpanic.bandcamp.com/album/mens-room]
My first impression of the name STRAIGHT PANIC is of the hardcore band called Panic and so I think of this as being something along those lines, you know, as if to say this person is straight up panicking. However, as it does not have the "up" in it, you could see it as the straight referring to heterosexuality and the music does explore that on the cassette titled "Men's Room" (A title which leads further speculation) and it does so with audio clips.
Right from the start an audio clip has a man's voice declare that he hates gay people, but not gay people like him other gay people. It's kind of strange because you think no one should really be hating anyone, yet at the same time why couldn't two gay people not get along? Obviously a lot of straight people don't get along so it just makes sense. This goes into a song of wavy static with sharp feedback. The music on Side A is distorted anger with chugging static and lasers fired. There is also an audio clip in between the two songs that talks about the devil and, well, if you're going to address what some people feel to be an issue in homosexuality then you are most likely to include something about religion.
With Side B there begins an audio clip of a Bible story explaining how someone knocks on someone else's door and demands they release a man so another man can have sex with him, but the guy who answers the door instead offers up a virgin woman. Okay... This goes into some heavy static that verges on harsh noise. It travels in and out like sirens and just has this mechanical feel to it, as if some sort of machine in a factory somewhere is working over time. An audio clip about 'Murica leads us into some sharp feedback lost inside of a storm of static.
When you bring sexuality to the forefront of your music (and to me, it's like bringing out religion as well, which I've written about at great lengths before) you're going to potentially isolate listeners while making those who relate to you feel closer and it's not always the best situation. And, you know, you can go through the logistics of it all day: people who are not gay might be turned off by the messages in the audio clips here. But the fact is that I just feel like this music could speak for itself without having the audio clips and everything else that comes with this cassette that announces it is gay.
I've listened to a large number of cassettes in this harsh noise genre and for the most part I do not know the sexual orientations of the artists behind them. And that's the way (uh huh uh huh) I like it. STRAIGHT PANIC wears its seuality on its sleeve and I'm fine with that because it doesn't really affect the music per se and I'm not sure how it would. But not everybody might be, and well, this style of music isn't for everyone anyway so it kind of works out then, doesn't it?