by Chris Conde
While assembling a list of local protest songs to honor Donny T’s inauguration last week, I stumbled upon a hidden gem — female fronted hardcore punk band named Amygdala, whose lyrics reflect the intense and chaotic beauty of their music.
Forming in the spring of 2014, the five piece released their EP The Horror Of Never Being Able To Forget a few months later through their Bandcamp page, which almost instantaneously drew the attention of the international DIY punk community. Quickly following the release was some steady touring outside of Texas, which bassist Yole Centeno says gave them an enlightening perspective on what it’s like being brown in a scene that’s predominately white.
“These issues of being a person of color in different punk scenes — we didn’t know what that was like because we’re from San Antonio, a predominately brown city," says Centino. The bassist explained that, while gigging across the country, he started to see a trend: mostly white bands getting more attention than their browner counterparts in the punk community.
Centino discovered that, when they were out on tour, the band was actually bringing out people who don't always feel welcomed by the punk scene — like more women, and LGBTQ people. "That's when we started to realize that this was important."
After a few tours through the midwest and the south, Amygadala embarked on a European tour following the release of their critically acclaimed full length, Population Control which was distributed on vinyl and cassette through several European and American DIY punk labels. An intrepid, ferocious hardcore effort, Population Control throws the listener through thick walls of aggressive guitar riffs and crashing punk rock drums, while singer Bianca Quioñones ties the emotionally punk rock masterpiece together with her brutal gut-wrenching screams and politically charged lyricism.