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Publication: The Stranger
Date published:
Language: English
PMID: 59135
Journal code: STRR

When Grant handed me this CD, he warned, "No more jokes about people yelling at you." I CAN'T BELIEVE HE THOUGHT I WAS JOKING! It's like he thinks this is an act. I promise you, this column is not a hip young person pretending to be a dorky grandpa. I am an actual dorky grandpa stuck in a young person's body. Thankfully, I don't have to complain about the Birthday Party people yelling at me (even though they totally do), because I could practically write this whole column about the album art.

The Birthday Party have a good thing going with this art, both inside and on the cover, because it perfectly represents the music. Unfortunately, the art includes a medium-shittily-painted heart encased in barbed wire, bleeding, with a burning cross sticking out of it. The band members (I assume) are pictured staring into the camera and looking serious and intense and reeeeallly '80s and there's some more dripping blood. The cover is a bunch of roses and gothy stuff(skulls, a coffin, a swastika?!). The songs sound exactly like that. Which is to say, ridiculous.

It looks and sounds like what the loseryou're- secretly-rooting-for character in a '90s teen movie would be drawing on their binder/listening to. Like, if it was a girl: dyed hair, so much eyeliner, glasses, she'd smirk at the popular kids, and she'd be drawing the stuffon this cover on her arm in Sharpie. This is the music that's playing in her headphones when she sits in her room at night with her secret sketchbook. Spoiler alert: She ends up at prom, post-makeover. Dude version: drives a beat-up old car, smokes, has long unwashed hair, this is the music that blasts out the windows of his car as he scowl-drives. Spoiler alert: He also ends up at prom, post-makeover.

The record starts with a dude calling out, "Hands up! Who wants to die?!" The end of track 2, "Wildworld," is just a dude going "Uh! Uh-huh-huh! Hey!" a ton. It sounds somewhere in between "I just got punched" and "I'm really straining to poop."

I did four seconds of research on the internet, and apparently this is that Nick Cave guy everyone's been talking about for a million years!? Wow. I dunno. I hope he didn't keep singing in that fakey low growl voice (track 4, "Deep in the Woods") forever. This sounds like teenager music. If I'm a 75-year-old man, should I go listen to his other stuff?

I give this a "y'all ain't got nothin' on young Heath Ledger scowling" out of 10.

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