Arrival Review: Mz Neon – ‘Queen Hyena Vol.1 &2.’

Industrialised sexualised overtly punk action with slabs of offensive aggression? This is glorious, gratuitous bad taste and pleasure with an exquisite crass guaranteed. Gender contortions and twisted distortion, punk is the platform, sex is the weapon, guitars might be embellished with synths and lean beats and the spit’s just as hot and acidic.

From Jayne County to Peaches, Princess Superstar to Hole, from Lydia Lunch to too many more to mention, sometimes we get given innards; Sex and prowess with its pop gloss torn off, with raw and pure balls out exposure.   

Us guys have had our say for decades, from Elvis to a ‘Whole Load of Rosie’. It’s a thrill every time we see those doors blown open and Mz Neon stamps high-heeled right through ‘em.

Through nowave and synthclash and rough-rubbed electro, we get dragged through the dirt of the gutter. Puerile’s the charm, offense is the play, it’s a kick in the sultrified grit. Hearing a trans artist match with the worst of the worst is a punishing joy giving thrill.

Over two EPs released this year as sisters, there’s powerplay, role switch and ego. Cop fucking, extinction, religion, masculinity, fetishes, triple X heat, every adult-sized theme is adulterated. The sly twist and smile that comes out in each verse as words get spat out with loose fluids, it runs between bitter and sweet. It’s this play that prevents songs from being just plain crude, there’s a glint in the eye of the offender.

‘Queen Hyena Vol. 1’ gives us stripped RnB with a side swipe at mean 80’s glam. ‘Pussy Stick’ gives us everything we might imagine, along with everything we might be told not to. It’s physical, primal, entirely combative, it’s a tease of tough words and high agro. The following three tracks never once give release, but we’re not here to be treated easy. As synthsounds get rougher and track speeds heat up, there’s a feel of a confidence building. By the end, ‘Alpha Bitch’ serves up trancewave and trap, and we’re forgetting our safewords for fun.

‘Queen Hyena Vol. 2’ starts with something that grabs, a familiar bent no-mess guitar. It’s a sample of Lydia Lunch. It provides the song with a grim post-punk gothica like a Phillip K Dick sci-fi soundscape. Add in turned tables on who screws who over, plus Lydia’s sand-driven growl, and ‘Cop Fucker’ is something of a stand out. Forceful to the point of apocalypse.

If Vol 1 was the head bending ego based intro then Vol 2 is the cool self-assurance. Less reliance on shock, more love paid to the songs, there’s more taste in the glitched out arrangements. And if that sounds in anyway like it’s any less compromising, then I can assure you it’s not. If it wasn’t for every crude thought you could think of, we might think there’s a leaning towards pop.

And maybe that’s the answer to some of my questions about what might come next or come after. How long can a single shock last? Hardcore gets tolerable, 80s punk now sounds slow, bad tastes get accepted and sometimes atoned for, and roles twist and turn over time. But Mz Neon might well have this covered. The progression of sounds and experiment play, her powergrab and share between genders… Throw in a want to find new ways to screw us and maybe there’s more than cult calling.