BE AFRAID (but not too afraid) with the brand new shimmering horror rock tune Villain from Sydney's vibrant alt indie kings Bad Pony.
Traversing the struggles observed by songwriter Jarred Young through life in Melbourne, the razor-sharp tune finds the Bad Pony gents in scintillating form amid the darker themes and startling reality behind the infectious melodics, as Young explains:
“‘Villain’ is an existentialist walk down Grey St. in St.Kilda. It’s a street renowned for night walkers, homelessness and drugs. I used to go through there at 5:30am in the morning every day to get to work and encountered people with some pretty serious drug and mental health problems. The song is about those people who are too often wrongly villainised."
Undoubtedly one of the group's strongest outings yet, Villain marks a significant high-point for Bad Pony to close out 2019, alongside the promise of an even brighter 2020 with the announcement of a run of shows in NSW and VIC kicking off in January.
And while the Ponies also gifted us a brand new music video this week to accompany the tune - to tide us over before the upcoming shows and in honour of the spookier elements underlying Villain (as well as a cause close to his heart), Bad Pony vocalist and bassist Mark Webber has specially curated the most villainous of playlists that would make Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger and that weird library ghost in Ghostbusters proud.
VILLAIN (BAD PONY)
'VILLAIN VIBES' PLAYLIST
Words & Playlist by Mark Webber
Some people say Spooktober ends at midnight on the 31st of October, giving way to Movember where a whole different type of creepy reigns (disclaimer: Movember pursues a noble cause that is near to my heart and the heart of the rest of the ponies and in all sincerity you can and should spare a few dollars. Donate at https://au.movember.com/donate/).
I'm here to tell you that you can live a spooky life 365 days a year. The spirit of spookiness lives in you as it lives in me, and to celebrate us putting out our own little slice of glitterfilled horror rock - Villain - I've put together a playlist of tunes to begin your creepy musical education. Enjoy, and remember: "muahahahahahahahahahaha" *lightning*
The Monster Mash - Bobby "Boris" Pickett: I mean this one kind of speaks for itself right?
I Put a Spell on You - Screamin' Jay Hawkins: Screamin' Jay's version of "I Put a Spell on You" was recorded whilst he was blackout drunk - the guttral groans, moans and screams were not planned, nor rehearsed. It is one of the most exciting pieces of singing you are ever likely to come across. The first time I heart this tune was when Jaz (vocals, drums) put it on whilst we were driving interstate and it shook me out of that long-haul stupor you sometimes fall into on long car trips. We listened to this track at least ten times in a row because I just couldn't believe what I was hearing. Jay leaned into the terrifying persona he tapped into in the session and re-learnt the song with all the glamour and would incorporate spooky theatrics into his shows, although eventually he got tired of being perceived as a novelty spook act. So I guess my inclusion of this song here is kind of a dick move. Sorry Jay.
Bad As Me - Tom Waits: Tom Waits owes a lot to Screamin' Jay on this track. Don't tell anyone because I'm sure I'll lose some kind of dumb musician credibility but I've always thought Tom Waits was pretty overrated. For some reason to me it seems like we kind of let him get away with putting out kind of boring music because he exudes such swagger. Like he's the movie "Coffee and Cigarettes" incarnate. Actually, he's even in that film! And he's kind of a dick to our mate Iggy Pop. Chill out Tom. This is still a sick tune though.
Clint Eastwood - The Gorillaz: I used to avoid this song when it first came out because that piano and hypnotizing vocal hook made me feel so uncomfortable. I was like 11 at the time so maybe I should have been a bit more chill about it but I dunno... still kinda gives me the heebie jeebies.
Zombie - Jamie T: I loved this tune the first time I heard it because it seems to throw back to old rock and roll with a satirical wink but also what I hear as a deep regard. I love Jamie's turns of phrase and melody wrapped up in this song describing himself as a completely wrecked individual. It's like tasting sweet and salty at the same time.
Police Truck - Dead Kennedys: This song has always sounded to me like it should be in a kitsch 80s horror movie. The shaky vocals and messy instrumentation is, to me, how punk rock should be served. This song makes me want to break stuff.
The Devil's Takin' Names - The Lawrence Arms: When punk rockers write ugly love songs filled with such self-loathing delivered in the voice of a person who has literally only eaten sponges for their entire life, magic happens.
New Noise - Refused: It still absolutely blows my mind that "The Shape of Punk to Come" was released in 1998. That's the same year as 5ive's self titled "5ive" came out (with such hits as "Slam Dunk Da Funk" and "Everybody Get Up", 5ive was a different kind of masterpiece). What is absolutely bananas to me is that this song was written and recorded at a time where the mere sonics they were incorporating into the track required them to embrace technologies and genre-mashing that was absolute heresy for a punk rock band at the time. This song and the record it came out on is just so far ahead of it's time and is an enthralling listen. AND THEY NAMED THE ALBUM "THE SHAPE OF PUNK TO COME" HOW COCKY CAN YOU BE? I mean they were right, but still. Baller.
Death March on Two, Ready? - Envy On The Coast: To me this tune sounds like an emo band learned to play country music and was mad as hell about that fact. If you dig this track you're doing yourself a disservice if you don't drop what you're doing right now and listen to the entire record, "LOWCOUNTRY". It is another of those tunes that on first listen I couldn't believe what I was hearing. The genre-bending style of this song fills me with chaotic cowboy energy and I love it. In other words - YEEHAW.
Afraid - The Neighbourhood: I don't know if it's that the tempo is just at that strutting pace or that whoever was responsible for programming the reverb unit set it to infinity and then smashed their hands on the desk and screamed "MORE REVERB" to nobody in particular but I have to be careful what headspace I'm in when I listen to this track because for some reason it makes me all nihilistic and cynical.
Scene of the Crime - Gaspar Sanz: These nutty fellas are an absolutely captivating band from Sydney. This song does that thing where you want to dance but you also kind of have the spooks. For some reason every time I hear it I picture myself running down an alley being chased by skeletons, and like... they're friendly skeletons I think but I don't want to get caught... like maybe they're going to tickle me or something and I hate being tickled.
Black Me Out - Against Me!: One of my favourite all time bands playing a song that reeks of IDGAF attitude and expresses a sentiment I think we can all identify with. I feel like we might all be in a better place if we were more prepared to call people out on their bullshit and tell it like it is. This song makes me feel like I'm much more capable of doing that.
Treat Me Like Your Mother - The Dead Weather: I think I was getting ready for school when I first heard this song and I didn't realise music could ooze such effortless cool. This tune started a long love affair between myself and the back catalogue of Jack White. At a time in my life where all I wanted to hear was electric guitars, The Dead Weather made me think the organ is badass. Pretty impressive.
So there it is! I hope you enjoy these tunes because I sure do! Make sure you jump out of a closet and scare the living heck out of your friend today, especially if they're carrying a bunch of soup or something.
- MARK WEBBER
FOLLOW MARK'S VILLAINS VIBE PLAYLIST HERE FOR SOME SPOOKY ADVENTURES!
A HUGE THANKS TO MARK AND THE PONIES FOR THIS LOVINGLY CREATED SPOOKY PLAYLIST, WHICH YOU CAN FOLLOW RIGHT HERE.
AND IF YOU'RE IN NSW OR VIC COME JANUARY, BE SURE TO CATCH THE GUYS IN ACTION! TOUR INFO BELOW, AND FOR MORE BAD PONY INFO HEAD HERE.
BY TIANA SPETER