Sailor Poon

Published on December 1st, 2019

Sailor Poon take the worn-out patriarchal aspects of punk and rock ’n’ roll, strip them bare, smear their faces with decades-old lip gloss that was stuck to the bottom of a Lisa Frank trapper keeper, and leave them unapologetically femme. With songs like “Leather Daddy,” “Butts” and “Blame the Patriarchy,” the Austin, Texas-based five-piece girl band holds nothing back when it comes to conveying universal female experience. 

The topics span sex and self-pleasure, male privilege, dated ideals of body image and mysterious smells — Sailor Poon leave no social or societal underbelly untouched. “Male Meltdown” sarcastically inquires, “Do you like the way I wear my hair?/ Do you like it when I wear it long like this?/ Maybe I should cut it a little shorter … Oh yeah, you right, that looks much better.”

Oozing with satire and cheekiness, the girls joined forces in 2015 and set themselves an ambitious local schedule, playing one to five shows per week in a global culture hotspot that can be downright blasé about its musical riches. The workaholism paid off: Austin loves Sailor Poon. They’ve played their city’s rep-making SXSW expo for the past two years running, and in February were honored at the 37th Austin Music Awards with a win in the category of “Best Punk.”

And now they’re on their way. Trailblazers in their own right, they still pay homage to foremothers of punk past a la The Slits, The Muffs, Pussy Riot and more. They live their values, playing benefits for organizations that support women, and they take role modeling seriously. “If I had seen bands like us when I was younger, I might be a better bass player now,” bassist Heidi Gloom told Brooklyn Vegan,

But more than just being five individuals fed up with patriarchy, they’re subversive entertainers, sending out a bouncy, glitter-bomb war cry as their counterstrike against misogyny. They take the roots of feminism and jet-propel them into the 21st Century, leaving you electrified and wanting to either burn your bra or shove it up higher — but not for anyone else but yourself. 

Sailor Poon perform Friday, December 6 at Voltaire and December 5 at Churchills. sailor-poon.bandcamp.com ~ Freddie Zandt

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