One of heavy music’s youngest vixens, Hannah Collins, a.k.a. Scene Queen, has graced us with a new song “Pink Push-Up Bra.” Adding another song with the word “pink” in the title to her discography is something fans of her music have been waiting for, but I believe that her newest release goes deeper than it may seem on the surface. Scene Queen’s brand of feminist metalcore is stirring up the modern metal world, and she is leading a new generation of increasingly diverse metalheads.
Most people unfamiliar with metal associate the music genre with unreadable band logos, incredibly intense music and, unfortunately, toxic masculinity. For decades, the genre has been dominated by all-white, all-male groups and has often fostered homophobia, racism and misogyny in its fan bases because of this.
However, modern listeners of metal music are much more diverse than in the ‘80s and ‘90s. More and more members of the most diverse generation so far, Gen Z, are finding themselves listening to nu-metal, leading to a renaissance for the genre. Metal spaces are becoming more inclusive, with an increasing amount of LGBTQIA+ young people flocking to the genre to let their angst out.
In addition to increasing diversity in listeners, more and more bands and singers are popping up that represent faces and backgrounds metal has not been incredibly welcoming to in the past. From the crushing hardcore of Zulu to the hard rock of Band-Maid, the newest wave of metal is a reflection of the increasing diversity of its listeners.
This brings us to Scene Queen and her new music. The magenta-clad creator of “Bimbocore” music has been releasing feminist-heavy music for years now, but “Pink Push-Up Bra” might be her most brutal and straight to the point.
The song is short, running at just two minutes and 13 seconds, but it is a wall of anger from beginning to end. Collins rages against perpetrators of sexual assault with repeated references to statistics of female victims of sexual violence and threatening perpetrators with guns. While many of Scene Queen’s songs have mentions of violence, this is her most outright threat of attack.
I would be remiss to not touch on how toxic rhetoric still influences the current metal scene heavily. Even though “Pink Push-Up Bra” is a certified headbanger, there are still many people who say it is “not metal.” Scene Queen’s music all has a degree of feminism in it, even songs like “Pink Whitney.” In a community like the metal community, this isn’t always received positively. The overwhelmingly white male audience of metalheads often tries very hard to define what metal is, and almost always tries to define bands with women members as “not metal.”
This is part of a trend of misogyny bands like Scene Queen are fighting against. While the newest listeners of metal may be more diverse and progress is being made, rooting out the sexism and racism present in metal is still a long way off.
However, there is hope for a better heavy metal future. As Scene Queen continues to deliver pink-laden metalcore, other bands are rising up with her. BABYMETAL, an all-women Japanese metal trio, just performed at Louder Than Life, one of rock and metal’s biggest festivals. The Tatiana Shmayluk-fronted Ukrainian metal band Jinjer is currently performing on a sprawling North American tour.
There are bands that formed years prior to Scene Queen that have paved the way for a more female-inclusive metal space, too. Legendary death metal group Arch Enemy has been led by a female singer since the ‘90s, from the early days with Angela Gossow to current times with Alissa White-Gluz. Kittie is also one of the first nu-metal girl groups, having been a strong force in the late 1990s and early 2000s. And, of course, you have to mention The Runaways and Vixen, two of rock’s earliest and most famous all-women bands.
From the past to the present, women have always been major figures in rock and metal, even if they are not given their due recognition. While metal fans now may recognize the sexism present in this community, a lot of work still needs to be done to fix the problems we current metal listeners face. As Scene Queen continues to rage about the men she hates, metalheads must do our part to make the shows we go to a space where everyone can express themselves freely.
Jackson McCoy is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to share your thoughts? Let Jackson know by emailing or tweeting him at firstname.lastname@example.org or @_jackson_mccoy_.