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8 Inch Betsy - "Grotesque" (audio) (premiere)

The Chicago queercore band releases their long-awaited second album as a tribute to their late bandleader Meghan Galbraith.

Best known for an aggressive yet melodic style of punk rock similar to that of the Distillers, Chicago queercore band 8 Inch Betsy were on the cusp of a breakthrough thanks to a reputation as a terrific live band and the strong 2007 debut This Time, Last Time, Every Time. Although the follow-up The Mean Days was recorded over the course of several years since 2010, it was never quite completed, and sadly this past January singer/guitarist/songwriter Meghan Galbraith passed away at the age of 35. As a tribute to her, The Mean Days will finally be released posthumously by Knox Records on 13 November, and you can hear the new track "Grotesque" below, a song that was not only a departure from the band's sound but was never supposed to be on the album in the first place.

On 21 March, 2008, bassist Eli Burke received an email from Galbraith that read, ""This one was way fun. I found a vocal filter that makes me sound like a dude. Or dudes. Or robot dudes.

Don't ask what the song is about, I made most of it up on the spot."

"The song was attached to the email," adds Burke. "It has a super creepy filter and sounds like a cross between Portishead and NIN. She got a lot of feedback from people and they wanted to hear her natural voice so she changed it. This song was originally not going to be on the album. This one and 'Night'. We decided in the end to include them. They veer from our usual pop-punk fast paced songs. We all decided that it was a nice departure and decided it gave people a space to pull back and sort of pull in.

"Meghan looked tough, but was super sensitive. She had a hard time letting go of the bad relationships. She told me once that she carried a flag for every single person she's been with. She could never find closure. The song relates to specific relationships, but a lot of these songs aren’t about one person. One song could be about multiple people."

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