“I teeter on the in-betweens of shock and glam,” says Alli Logout, the vocalist of New Orleans post-punk group Special Interest. “My body has always been a source of spectacle, because I’m fat and hot and people just don’t know what to make of it. I like to challenge the perceptions of what a frontperson can be. And yes, it can be outrageous and simultaneously profound and powerful. I’m seeking visions and futures that can hold all those things, and I’m seeking those things within myself. It’s incredible to watch how those feelings have manifested in my performance.”
Special Interest are all queer, and half of them are POC; that fact is central to who they are, and to the music they make. Their rousing new album, The Passion Of, which follows 2018’s fast, short, and loud Spiraling, offers 11 tracks of controlled, anthemic chaos. Searing industrial soundscapes are paired with hypnotic dance rhythms and Logout’s gutsy, no-holds-barred vocal delivery; their lyrics are part narrative, and part call to action. The band delights in twisting subgenre signifiers together in dramatic ways, as on “Head,” where they take a throttling broken beat and play siren-like squeals on top. On the slow-burning “All Tomorrow’s Carry,” Logout puts socio-political angst front and center. “Are we going out/ I watch the city crumble/ Yeah they were pushed out/ Soon evacuated/ House was near dilapidated,” Logout sings, perfectly balancing disco and discourse.