Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series “Spooktober Edition,”where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore tunes from the 60’s to today. Enjoy the trip! 🎃

The Birthday Party (originally known as The Boys Next Door) were an Australian post-punk band, active from 1978 to 1983. Despite limited commercial success, The Birthday Party’s influence has been far-reaching, and they have been called “one of the darkest and most challenging post-punk groups to emerge in the early ’80s.” The group’s “bleak and noisy soundscapes,” which drew irreverently on blues, free jazz, and rockabilly, provided the setting for vocalist Nick Cave’s disturbing tales of violence and perversion. Their music has been described by critic Simon Reynolds as gothic, and their single “Release the Bats” was particularly influential on the emerging gothic scene.

In 1980, The Birthday Party moved from Melbourne to London, where they were championed by broadcaster John Peel. Disillusioned by their stay in London, the band’s sound and live shows became increasingly violent. They broke up soon after relocating to West Berlin in 1982. The creative core of The Birthday Party – singer and songwriter Nick Cave, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Mick Harvey, and singer, songwriter and guitarist Rowland S. Howard – later went on to acclaimed careers.

The Birthday Party – ‘Deep In The Woods’

There’s no denying that Nick Cave is the master of murder ballads, and in all honesty, any number of Bad Seeds songs could have made this list: ‘Song Of Joy’ is an obvious pick, and ‘Red Right Hand’ is an all-time spooky classic.

However, I thought it’d be more useful to spotlight another side of the beloved troubadour with The Birthday Party’s ‘Deep In The Woods’, with Cave showcasing his trademark creepy lyricism alongside the cataclysmic guitar playing of Rowland S. Howard to incredible effect. It’s a bit of an obscurity, but ‘Deep In The Woods’ is quite frankly terrifying from start to finish.

Birthday Party – Deep in The Woods. Album: The Bad Seed, 1983

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