Antiks brings punk rock to the disability rights conversation

Time and time again, punk rock has earned its status as the official soundtrack of change; it’s angular and abrasive – just what is usually needed to shatter calcified dominant and regressive wisdoms. As such, we love it when a group cries bloody murder for a good cause. So when a band embodies a good cause holistically, in all aspects of their craft, when a band like Antiks shows up, we put that in our “stop whatever you’re doing” and we listen.

Hailing from Ontario, Canada, Antiks have further cemented the tradition that Canadians are the best in the world and are exporting some of the best punk, with their debut single “The Reckoning”, now available. Rough as guts and straight to the point, The Reckoning wastes no time charging into a thick groove that will pull you in like quicksand.

But there’s more to The Reckoning, and indeed Antiks, than their faithful study of punk rock. The group aims to promote an accessible, inclusive and radical musical community. Their first step in this direction was to focus their early days on the disability rights movement in the 70s, specifically a moment known as The 504 Sit In.

“The 504 Sit Ins was such a significant event in civil rights history, but it’s not widely known, we wanted to raise awareness about it.” The group explains to BLUNT their first single. “It was badass and we decided to create a badass track for the disability community that was not only accessible, but had significant representation.

“We want to make music as accessible as possible, that’s how it should be. “The Reckoning” is a tribute to disability history and disability justice, and yes, we’ve come this far fighting for our rights, but there’s still a lot of work to do. This pandemic has shown that the most vulnerable people in our society are still being swept away and that the fight for people’s rights is still fierce.

Antiks has released an accessible music video for the track, featuring detailed descriptions of the video for those who might have trouble viewing it. From there, the band’s official website is full of accessibility tools allowing users to increase text size, adjust lighting and colors as well as fonts. These are just two of the smaller ways the group has shown that a more accessible future for content is possible, relatively simple, and incredibly impactful.

The Antiks have left their door open to any peers who might want to bring more accessibility to their camps. After all, it’s the little things that make the difference.

[Image Description: Colour photo is of Luke, Dan, and Julio, standing apart, in a big abandoned concrete room with graffiti on the walls and huge damaged windows. Luke (white) is standing on the left, he has long flowing blonde hair, arm tattoos, and is wearing a 5 panel hat, a Mars Attacks t-shirt, and black jean shorts on. Dan (white) is in the centre sitting on his silver walker, he has short blonde hair and is wearing a trucker hat, round glasses, is shirtless, and has black shorts and boots on. Julio (white) is on the right, he’s got long dark brown hair, arm tattoos, and is wearing a black 5 panel hat, t-shirt, a sleeveless blue denim jean jacket with patches on, and has black jeans shorts on.]

Diana J. Carleton