Bev Rage & the Drinks: Quenching Your Cock ‘N’ Roll Thirst

He did it her way: Wayne/Jayne County taking the stage at Max’s Kansas City.

When Wayne County arrived on New York’s underground rock ‘n’ roll scene in the early ’70s (fronting his group Queen Elizabeth), he brought with him a form of shock rock that was quite different than what had been seen before. While his contemporary Alice Cooper was sporting boa constrictors, chopping up bloodied baby dolls, and simulating executions, Wayne was sporting lingerie, (supposedly) defecating realistic-looking excrement, and simulating raunchy sex acts. A cross-dressing performance artist whose roots lay in the drag subculture of Atlanta, GA, Wayne took his passion for classic Hollywood films and (much like Alice) applied a regal sense of theatrics to his stage persona. Having already become a high-profile figure in underground gay theater, Wayne’s artistic cred increased thanks to affiliations with Andy Warhol and David Bowie. Similar to the New York Dolls, Wayne’s music was also a glam-influenced form of punk, but his songs dealt with much more sordid subject matters such as gender issues (“Man Enough To Be A Woman”; he would eventually become known as “Jayne”), incestuous necrophilia (“Dead Hot Mamma”), and masturbation (“It Takes A Man Like Me To Fuck A Woman Like Me”). His form of satiric pornography (which included oral sex on mannequins and dildo-shaped water guns spraying milk) gave rise to his outrageous notoriety, most especially with his “take it or leave it” crowd-pleaser “(If You Don’t Wanna Fuck Me, Baby) Fuck Off!!” Wayne/Jayne County’s recorded output would become very influential, however, as it has served as one of the seeds for the alternative rock movement known as “queercore”.

Since its rise in the 1980s, the queercore scene has included such groups as Fifth Column, Nikki Parasite, Pansy Division, God Is My Co-Pilot, Team Dresch, and Le Tigre. With overwhelming support from its fan base, the genre continues to strengthen and thrive. One of the latest bands to carry on this legacy is Bev Rage and the Drinks…

Bev exclaims “Free Drinks for everyone!” much to the chagrin of Aaron and Trevor.

In 2014, vocalist/bassist Beverly Rage hooked up with guitarist/drummer Aaron Ehinger and began writing songs and recording demos. In the market to add another band member, Beverly and Aaron were able to forgo the Hall and Oates formula when they met Trevor Cole. Even though Trevor had barely picked up a pair of drum sticks before, it was decided that he would be proficient at banging the buckets. Struggling for nearly a year at getting their sound perfected, Bev and the boys took their influences of ’70s garage punk, ’80s new wave, and ’90s pop punk and released the “Don’t Know Shit” EP in 2016. Emerging as Bev Rage and the Drinks, the trio made their live debut opening for their idols/queercore icons Pansy Division on their home turf of Chicago. With a lively stage show that consisted of wig/costume changes, snack throwing, and gay comedy, Bev and the Drinks proved they were an entertaining act, regardless of the audience’s sexual orientation. Having the distinction of being possibly the only punk band with a drag queen lead singer, and having catchy, fun songs in their repertoire, their momentum has continued to swell, amassing an impressive fan base. Known to sometimes tackle politics, Beverly, Aaron, and Trevor still maintain their sense of humor, as evidenced in such songs as “Wrap Your Legs (Around My Heart)”, “Don’t Know Shit”, and “Short Shorts”. Riding high on the positive attention and adoration in their local scene, Bev and the Drinks began prepping to record a new batch of grin-inducing tunes.

Just yesterday, these cassette copies of “Honk If Yer Hungry” became collector’s items.

On August 18, Beverly, Aaron, and Trevor released their latest collection of catchy fun on the EP “Honk If Yer Hungry”. Produced and engineered by Brian Tepps at Million Yen Studios and mastered by the Boiler Room, this release sounds incredible. Beverly displays some fine bass playing (and singing), while Aaron and Trevor split the guitar and drumming duties, as well as provide backing vocals. The title track (which is the opener), is a rocker that’s about (what else?) snack food. It’s reminiscent of one of those foodcentric compositions that “Weird Al” Yankovic would’ve come up with. “I’m Too Old” sounds like classic ’90s-era Lookout! Records pop punk, lending the uptempo proceedings a vintage feel that’s just simply sublime. The comedic songwriting continues with the 38 second pop jumper “(You Never Tell Me That I’m) Cute”, which begs for there to be an extended version on a future release. The closer, “Thunder Thighs” is a high-energy slice of garage/power pop heaven that sounds like the Devil Dogs doing their best Buzzcocks. With just four songs on this dose of musical Viagra, it will have you “Hungry” for more of Bev Rage and the Drinks. It’s a party that you don’t want to end, and Beverly, Aaron, and Trevor will be the attendants at that rock ‘n’ roll concession stand.

 

To order “Honk If Yer Hungry” and “Don’t Know Shit”, visit their page on Bandcamp.

Stay up-to-date with the latest news and tour info on Facebook.

To purchase official merch, view photos, and more, visit their official website.

You can also follow them on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

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Joey Camp

Joey Camp is a former podcaster that's worked with the GaragePunk Hideout and Real Punk Radio. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA, and you can follow him on Twitter @Joey Camp.

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