Saturday, March 09, 2013

“Everybody Happy as the Dead Come Home!”

More Music for a Saturday Zombie Apocalypse

What a week. I watched traffic on this site spike by one hundred hits only to fall to nothing as I struggled with Chapter 16. I finally get that up last night and I’m still waiting for people to realize it’s there. It looks like I’m going to have to troll some Web sites, make my name linkable in the comments, and stir up some—shriekback!

Yeah, it’s a word. Or should be, anyway. Shriekback was an ‘80s band with one notable album you wish your band would make, namely, 1985’s Oil and Gold. Note the year: 1985 was still early enough in MTV’s existence to enable the production and promotion of interesting music videos, of which Shriekback’s “Nemesis” is a fine example. 

Frankly, I didn’t even know a video existed for this song until today, let alone one as entertaining and fitting as this.  I’ve always admired “Nemesis” in particular for the spooky shrieking behind the singalong chorus, in which the word “parthenogenesis” is used. “Everybody happy as the dead come home!” 

That line above might be enough to include this song in my Apocalypse Jukebox, but there’s so much more to love. It’s all there in the lyrics, which lead singer Carl Marsh enunciates with unnerving clarity while lip-synching for the video.

In the jungle
Of the senses:
Tinkerbell and
Jack the Ripper.... 

This sounds almost like a haiku, except it’s four lines and four syllables each.

The burning wax,
The breath of reptiles,
You know it’s never
Been so exotic....

Dark poetic matter you can dance to. This is the point where the average (i.e., dumb) writer adds, “They don’t write ‘em like that anymore,” but the plain fact is most people never did. Ever. Shriekback was one of a kind.