Review: HomocoreDavid Ciminelli and Ken Knox. Homocore: The Loud and Raucous Rise of Queer Rock
Published by Alyson Books
Reviewed by Bec Chalkley
Legend has it the Homocore movement sprang from a fictitious queer punk scene mischievously chronicled by Bruce LaBruce and G.B. Jones in their 1980s zine J.D.s. Homocore came to represent queer rock bands like Pansy Division and Team Dresch who were out of place in both mainstream gay culture and the increasingly macho punk scene.
Homocore gives a chatty, celebratory overview of the movement through engaging interviews with the personalities behind the zines and DIY record labels, as well as the bands themselves. The authors occasionally miss the point, however. While LaBruce and Jones quickly realised “queercore” better reflected the diversity of the scene than “homocore,” the two terms are used interchangeably throughout the book without comment. The fundamental influence of the riot grrrl movement is cursorily explored, UK queercore bands like Sister George and seminal San Franciscan queer rockers Tribe 8 are largely absent, and a chapter on the future of queercore negligently omits progeny like The Gossip and Lesbians On Ecstasy.
Some interviews are tantalisingly brief, and though Homocore cries out for reproductions of zine pages and gig flyers, it’s sparsely illustrated. There’s a comprehensive list of related websites however, the only glaring omission being the Queer Zine Archive Project.
Bec Chalkley is a writer and visual artist. Her short fiction appeared in Chroma, Issue 3.