It’s no secret that road trips are a midwestern favorite. Usually, if there’s a show, I drive to OKC or Tulsa to attend. While the punk scene in Oklahoma is amazing, I was thrilled to see Florida’s Post-Hardcore talent, GILT, perform live at River City Coffee in my home state’s capital, Little Rock! They just recently wrapped up an eight-city tour across neighboring locations. Roll call features Ash Tixx (they/she/he) formally on drums, currently on vocals; Tilley Komorny (she/her) on guitar; Tyler Fieldhouse (they/them) on guitar; along with guest musicians Liza Goldstein (they/them) on bass; and Ali Reed (she/they) on drums. Their tour required all locations to wear masks and be prepared to present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the show.
In a November 2021 collaboration with For The Punks, GILT released their EP ‘In Windows, Through Mirrors,’ and premiered the song’s music video with our very own Gisselle Pernett (she/her). Gisselle wrote a brilliant review of the EP and its inspiration, ‘Ignore What’s Missing,’ – the band’s 2020 debut album with Knife Punch Records.
The venue’s cathedral-style windows attracted a wandering midtown audience outside to accompany the cozy crowd inside. The interior was decked out with industrial lights to decorate the ceiling, a library of vintage vinyl to complement the café’s booth seating, and an array of chalkboard espresso menus on the wall above checkout. The evening’s lineup involved the following:
We HAVE to talk about Jimmy Stigma (he/they). I. LOVE. JIMMY. STIGMA. The synthpop prince’s smile was the perfect introduction to the night. Their electric euphemism sparked excitement all around! I was lucky enough to hug them and talk to them right before GILT’s performance. They spoke about how they also play guitar and spent the majority of the pandemic thus far creating on their laptop. You can find four of his singles on Bandcamp: “Pure Saccharine” (2016), “Around My Neck” (2017), “So Easy” (2020), and “Rock n Roll” (2021). They also appear on Vze’s 2020 single, “Brand New,” available on Spotify. Jimmy, if you’re reading this, PLEASE DON’T EVER STOP MAKING MUSIC. YOU PINKY PROMISED!
Up next was the Russellville River Valley downer punk daydream, Vulturegeist!, starring Luke Bewley on guitar, Luke Allen on guitar, Lizzie Rhodes on bass, and Deegan Anderson on drums. Their discography is otherworldly – a spring 2020 demo, Mothership, and a spring 2021 two-song EP Gorilla Vice Grip (G.V.G). I haven’t been able to stop thinking about their song “Cigarette Breath.” I adore the repeating I to IV chord progression in the main theme, in addition to the song’s overall pentatonic feel. They demonstrated their INSANE ability to construct a soundscape with ambient interludes between songs that charmed the entire room into a swaying trance.
GILT’s entire performance felt like a hug. They were FULL of energy with their headbanging, shredding while leaning backward, and piercing, relieving vocals. The band promotes setting boundaries, focusing on the inner being, and not minimizing an entire being into categories, definitions, and labels. By exercising consideration for the unknown whether it be aspects of your own identity or someone else’s, it gives way to a deeper form of creative expression and experience as a whole. If we release rigid assumptions, we can experience more art. GILT is a band that’s more than comfortable with dark emotions and isn’t shy to celebrate their sorrow or share their shame because they understand honesty is the key to human connection. As stated on their Bandcamp profile, their repertoire navigates topics of gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and mental health.
Maja (she/they) is the founder of Queers to the Front – an artist management and marketing company that represents marginalized artists (women, BIPOC, disabled people, queer people, trans people, and non-binary people) and advocates for respect, safety, and inclusivity in the music industry. GILT is the first signing to QTTF’s roster, and Maja has major plans to expand in 2022.
I had to leave right before Lap’s performance to try and make it back to Fort Smith before it started raining. However, the full gig was filmed by Walt Peterson and is available to watch on Vimeo here.
What a beautiful way to close out the year! It was so awesome that GILT had Arkansas in mind, and I made friends with some of the most incredible human beings in the local area that I can’t wait to mosh with in the upcoming year.
GILT plans to tour with Sarah & the Safeword in 2022 on the following dates:
3/07 – The Post at River East – Fort Worth, TX
3/08 – Scout Bar – Houston, TX
3/09 – Gasa Gasa – New Orleans, LA
3/11 – Will’s Pub – Orlando, FL
3/12 – Archetype – Jacksonville, FL