Track By Track: MeanGirls – ‘Squirm’

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track by track meangirls squirm

Squirm  Is Out Now Via Bandcamp.

Austin, Texas quartet MeanGirls are definitely a band for the 21st Century. They are a transgender, queer, interracial, lo-fi punk band. That’s right up Overblown’s alley. They’re also a band that has just released their debut album, SQUIRM and it is a vulnerable, and yet defiant, corker. Front woman Raine Martin recently took some time to talk about the album in detail with Overblown ahead of their American tour. I recommend you see them. Do it.

MeanGirls play the following dates: 3/23 Austin, TX (Tour Kick-Off Jamboree), 3/24 Midland, TX, 3/25 Las Cruces, NM, 3/26 Albuquerque, NM, 3/27 Denver, CO, 3/28 Fort Collins, CO, 3/29 Off day in Fort Collins, 3/30 Omaha, NE, 3/31 Milwaukee, WI, 4/1 Chicago, IL, 4/2 Springfield, IL, 4/3 Saint Louis, MO, 4/4 Memphis, TN, 4/5 New Orleans, LA and 4/6 Houston, TX.

track by track meangirls squirm

Squirm

I like the concept of squirming. It’s a futile attempt to reposition yourself for comfort. We all are bound by something we may never break free. To make someone squirm is to destroy their comfort.

It’s a theme throughout the album whether it’s us squirming to get free or us promising our oppressors they won’t get away with it.

1. A Comprehensive List of All My Failures

This track started out as a riff Morgan (guitarist/vocalist) would play at practice. Tommy eventually got excited about it and we just jammed it until it became a song. I remember specifically in the major tempo drop halfway through, we discussed wanting to create a super chill stoned on the beach vibe.

These were the last lyrics written for the record. This was originally a Morgan-song but she decided to pass it on to me.

I knew it was the first track on the record, that was already decided. So the opening lines had to really grab you, and be a bit abrasive. ‘I’m not here to console you, I am here to corrode you’ was sort of my answer to this notion of “acceptable protest” towards the #blacklivesmatter movement or the acceptance of passable trans people. We don’t owe you dog shit.

2. Perfect Symmetry


This track is about dysphoria, the fear of violence against trans people, and the attitudes of the Christian Right who deny our existence. I wrote this track at the beginning of my transition. It was a terrifying time to not know what may come.

This was also the first track Morgan and I played together and eventually the first song we jammed when Tommy joined us.

3. Gunsmoker

This is the happiest track on the record and the absolute darkest lyrics. This is also the oldest written song from over 3 years ago. It sort of navigates a fucked up dream reflecting my experiences dating women and the guilt of hiding my gender identity. I felt like a freak and a fraud. It was a dark time for me so I tried to translate that into a horror story.

4. Summer Bodies

Body shaming is gross, and it ruins people’s lives. I learned what it was like to go to the pool in a bathing suit and be stared at and drown in dysphoria. Somehow it’s socially acceptable to laugh at people who are overweight or judge people for being too skinny.

This musically, was an exciting song to write. I wrote the song on an acoustic and brought it to practice. It’s some of Morgans best guitar work and naturally Tommy and Kartsten just bring it to life.

5. I’m Gonna Eat Your Brains and Gain Your Knowledge


Getting older blows. I wrote this around my 27th birthday. To be totally honest, this was intended to be a young///savage (my old band) track and it was thematically designed to work into a concept album we were writing before we broke up. This song was just too good to let die, so I brought to MeanGirls practice and we turned it into a whole new song. I have a penchant for dipping out of reality and into creepy scifi territory lyrically. This song means a lot of things to me, but I’ll never tell.. So use your imagination!

6. I’m Fine, or Whatever

Morgan is a hell of a songwriter and is basically the songbird of a generation. This song will eventually be a full-band banger, but the album needed a change of pace and some Morgan voice.

I wrote my guitar part in one day and layered it on hers day of recording. It’s a beautiful track.

7. Trans Exclusionary Radical Fecal Matter

TERFs (Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists) are the worst people. They claim to be about women’s rights but deny those rights to the most vulnerable women: trans women. They are a very real threat to the trans community and often put our lives in danger by outing us and posting hateful media smearing us. They are basically human shit.

8. Beer in the Bathtub

It’s short and sweet and leaves little to the imagination. We all feel self pity and despair. Sometimes all you can do is write a song about it and try to make it rock really hard.

Humor sometimes is the best way to deal with depression for me. Getting out of depression isn’t easy, but stepping back and laughing at the silly shit helps you get by.

9. Cold Showers

This song is really personal, and it’s probably not about what you think it’s about. I’m not telling. But this may be my favorite track. We hadn’t even finished the song when we recorded. Tommy made up a drum beat in the studio. I was worried it would come out kinda shitty, but ended up being awesome! I like to think of ‘beer in the bathtub’ as the emotional closer, and cold showers is like the uplifting track playing in the credits.

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