Editor’s Note: The Albumism staff has selected what we believe to be 50 Essential Albums by LGBTQ Artists, representing a varied cross-section of genres, styles and time periods. Considering that the qualifier “LGBTQ” can often be open to various interpretations, for the purposes of this particular list, we have defined an artist as LGBTQ if he, she or they have ever publicly identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer. Moreover, albums by groups have been included in the list if any of their members fit the aforementioned criteria, even if some members do not.
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PANSY DIVISION | Undressed
Selected by Chris Powers
I want to love anything in life as much as Pansy Division loves fucking men.
A predominant band in both the queercore scene and grander ‘90s pop punk boom, Pansy Division are unleaded gay pride that spent most of their career writing hysterically slutty songs that create a world of, as described in the lyrics to “Anthem,” “the butt-fuckers of rock n' roll.” All of their songs are either flashy power pop or catchy cowpunk that should be played over the loudspeakers at a gay rodeo. Jon Ginoli's singing is what puts these songs over the top in terms of humor, as his excited nasally voice and momentum of his sex-obsessed persona are incredibly funny and give the songs a lot of meat.
Truth be told, most of their early ‘90s recordings are on the level of their debut album Undressed in terms of sound and fun. This is the period when Pansy Division was at their peak smuttiness, so it's all going to come down to a personal choice of which songs you find funniest and catchiest. In my case, “Fem In A Black Leather Jacket” has me ensnared tighter than most. I also enjoy the more tender sounding songs on this album (“The Story So Far”, “Surrender Your Clothing”), since they shed a light on how all of these goofy songs come from a true place of love.
Pansy Division are a true joyous gift to punk. Their rock anthems about boning dudes effortlessly radiate positive energy and love, and Undressed finds them at their best. Also, a big thank you to them for teaching me about the importance of “curvature” with this album.