Sunday, 8 May 2011
Die Dancing Bears - Drug Dance / New York Valentine 7" no label MX59905/6, 1982
Drug Dance/New York Valentine was released in October, around the same time as Madroom's Cruelty of Beauty 12", making it among the first Australian records to veer self-consciously into UK-influenced goth-punk territory (though beyond Box of Fish, Club of Rome, Dorian Gray and perhaps Marble Soldiers, we can't think of too many others that fit the bill from the class of '82/'83). Goth, like Melbourne pub rock, is not our strong suit. Our experience extends about as far as TSOL's Dance With Me LP, which is to say, not very far; intentions of educating ourselves for this post fell by the wayside with the realisation that, ultimately, life's too short. That said, New York Valentine's sound is faster and more aggressive than we'd typically associate with the likes of Bauhaus and Southern Death Cult. Its pace, ascending riff, and discordant guitar clanging make it more akin to the Dead Kennedys' Bleed For Me, though given that it was recorded a month prior to Plastic Surgery Disasters, the DKs are an unlikely influence. We're on firmer ground in drawing a line to the Birthday Party's live run-through of Loose, and noting Cox's Cave-like vocal yelps - dig that opening scream.
The band continued into 1983 with additional line-up changes, but no further records would emerge. Tonkes later joined Madroom, vastly improving their sound on 1984's I Am For An Art... LP. Cox eventually returned to Adelaide, becoming a morning DJ on community station Three D. Sadly, he passed away in 2005.
New York Valentine [Download]