We last head from M(h)aol (pronouned “male”) back in March when they shared the excoriating “Asking For It”, but the intersectional Irish punks return today with news of a debut EP called Gender Studies, which will arrive digitally on October 29 (a physical to follow in the new year). On the EP, lead vocalist Róisín says:
“Gender studies weaves past & present in an exploration of how the construct of gender shapes our lives. From feeling like you’re not performing your gender right to the way it shapes how we move through the physical, sexual & romantic sphere it marries urgent lyrics with a threatening yet (blank) sound.”
They’ve also shared the title track, a grinding, clicking and overall threatening industrial punk track. Róisín’s voice and words are the glinting tip of this particular weapon, coldly facing off against unwanted attention from people who “say there’s only two” genders. Measured throughout, Róisín consistently provokes without breaking stride, offering “go ahead, study my gender, bring all your fears and insecurities to the fore.” There’s no need to howl, or even get worked up in the slightest, the emphasis and power of being fully comfortable in herself is more than enough to dwarf the peons who try to say otherwise. Róisín puts a fine point on it at the end with the simple statement: “Guess what? I like the new me more.”
The video for “Gender Studies” is an eerie film noir, which is well worth checking out below. Otherwise find the song on streaming platforms.