It feels like forever, to me, since Stop Pretending, the EP that ex-Elite Gymnastics' member James Brooks released last summer, first as Dead Girlfriends, then as Default Genders, following the "crazy psychedelic feminist musical nightmare" surrounding the clumsy band name and "On Fraternity," a song that addressed sexual violence in the second person. Since then, Brooks has deleted the Tumblr post explaining the original name by way of a Dworkin quote, as well as the one apologizing "to anyone who was upset or offended or grossed out"; you could say that's all irrelevant to "Everything Is a Lie and Everyone Is Completely Full of Shit," the first Default Genders song since then, but I think the baggage adds something. Brooks' lyrics, whatever the band name, tend to be anxious and unhappy, made tenser by are-we-having-fun-yet jungle breaks and unexpected shrieks of noise—on its own, the music seems designed to induce jitters. But moving forward under this moniker, it now exists within a context of pronounced claustrophobia, criticism and failure to communicate. Seems fucked and also makes sense.
Default Genders Is Back: “Everything Is a Lie and Everyone Is Completely Full of Shit”
James Brooks, formerly of Elite Gymnastics and the short-lived moniker Dead Girlfriends, returns a year after the “mansplaining” controversy with a new song.
May 15, 2014