No, it's not that kind of PMS.
Indonesia's Voice Of Baceprot - commonly known as VOB - have returned with their new single PMS, short for "Perempuan Merdeka Seutuhnya" in Bahasa Indonesian or "Wholly Independent Woman" in English.
The song follows their March single, (Not) Public Property, released in conjunction with International Women's Day, an incendiary condemnation of violations of women's rights across the world.
On the preceding track, vocalist Marsya sings, "Our body is not public property / We have no place for the sexist mind" over a blues-influenced riff. The verses find her enraged and protective when she croons, "God hold my tears, when I see a girl crying / She lost her trust, to the world and to the source of her love / Where did the kind angel go when she needed it so bad / Even though the angel is gone, I won't be silent when she's blamed."
PMS is equally powerful and was written when Voice Of Baceprot were still in school in 2017. "We wrote the song fuelled by the remaining energy that we had left after school. At the time, we were up to our necks with school activities, so we basically had to drag ourselves to the studio for workshops," Marsya recalled. The band, made up of Marsya, Widi on bass and Sitti on drums, found inspiration in a collection of short stories written by Indonesian author Feby Indirani titled Bukan Perawan Maria (Not Virgin Mary).
The song features a wicked electric guitar and bass guitar solo and heavy drums. Voice Of Baceprot have faced their fair share of discrimination growing up in a region that values religious and patriarchal beliefs; they stand against a system that demands that their sole post-school option is marriage.
The band seamlessly blend English and Indonesian languages on PMS, proclaiming, "Meski tak seperawan Maria / Akulah merdeka merdekalah seutuhnya!" (in English, that is ", Even though she's not as virgin as Mary / I am free, completely free!")
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PMS was mixed by the Danish producer and sound engineer Tue Madsen (Meshuggah, Suicide Silence, Sick Of It All). On PMS, Voice Of Baceprot are bold and brave. The song proves that the band were worthy of their Wacken Festival debut in July this year, and the accolades from Tom Morello and Flea didn't come from nowhere.
Listen to PMS below.