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Queer Rock That Rocks-by Julie Perry

Queer Act Boys’ Entrance Releases News Single on iTunes

(Houston) – Queer artists are flourishing in most music genres, including Country where artists like Shane McAnally, Ty Herndon, Steve Grand, and Brandy Clark have joined the ranks of out superstars Chely Wright, Melissa Etheridge, and k.d. Lang.

The last frontier of music might just be in punk rock where only a handful of acts exist, among them; Pansy Division, Against Me, and Boys’ Entrance.

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Tim Cain of Boys’ Entrance

Tim Cain created Boys’ Entrance over 25 years ago and, in that time, has produced some of Queer Rock’s most iconic, political, and galvanizing music.  Their latest album, out this month, is Tunnelvision, a rock opera that is being called the next Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

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Boys’ Entrance features Cain’s husband, Billy Ramsey on bass; lead guitarist, Jaybo Key; and drummer, John Spinelli.

Set during the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, it tells the story of Tim and Troy and their tumultuous relationship.  The story opens with Tim, a rock musician, on stage, getting jeered by the audience for being queer. He responds by unabashedly claiming the title of “Mr. Sissy”. His bold declaration wins the crowd over, then, in “Creation,” he explains how the purpose of gay men is to create, not procreate.

Troy, a closeted straight guy, happens to be in the audience. The two hook up after the show and begin a rollercoaster ride of a relationship that involves break-ups and make-ups, drugs, alien encounters and one of the men becoming a call boy. The two say they want to be in a committed relationship together, but they simply don’t know how to make it work. Its the 1980s, after all. The physical relationship between Tim and Troy eventually breaks down, but their desires continue unabated. That is when the “wolf” comes knocking at the door.

The wolf in “The Wolf Is At The Door,” the first single release from the album, is temptation. The song is Peter Gabriel meets Duran Duran meets David Bowie. It is funky like Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” with a Duran Duran veneer and a final verse that pays homage to Bowie. It is the climax of the opera, coming at a point of intense exasperation between Tim and Troy, conveying sexual appetite and frustration.

The love story ends not-so-happily-ever-after, which shouldn’t come as a surprise.  Tragedy is the currency of opera.  Still, the music of the finale sounds like a sunrise. The song, “Back to One,”  conjures up those first few moments when the sky begins to turn and the sun appears. For Tim, there is satisfaction at having removed himself from the madness of his relationship with Troy. There is also a pride that comes from realizing he is ok with being alone.  It’s a reminder that at the end of the day, we all ride solo in this journey of life.

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It’s easy to see how some might compare Tunnelvision with Hedwig. Both use the power of rock to convey a dramatic and powerful story, but while Hedwig uses humor to defuse a personal tragedy, Tunnelvision is more operatic and dramatic, incorporating a wide array of music genres into its story. There is Heavy Metal and Goth; also Soul, Industrial, New Wave, Hip Hop, Jazz, Psychedelic, Gospel and even Cabaret. The songs flow in style and type, helping to inform the lyrics.  Now, if only they had added just a touch of Country…

Tunnelvision by Boys’ Entrance is available on iTunes now along with the band’s first single release, “The Wolf Is At The Door”. Visit their official website here.

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