The Song I Just Can’t Get Out Of My Head Today*
My new commute is only 15 minutes long, which usually afords me the luxury of listening to about three songs before I get to work in the mornings. If my iPod happens to choose an “epic” selection I usually skip it.
But not today.
Frankie Teardrop, by electro-punkers Suicide was the first song to appear today and I was unable to shake it from my brain the entire day. It’s the type of song that forces you to listen. Granted, it’s not everyone’s cup O tea. Alan Vega’s vocals sound like a perverted and zombified Gene Vincent. The drum machine just pulses like Satan’s heart beat and Martin Rev’s organ sounds are unnerving to say the very least. And Frankie Teardrop’s subject matter is enough to give you nightmares for a month. It’s about a blue collar worker that is in debt up to his eyeballs, can’t afford the rent or food for his family, and decides the best thing to do is get a gun, murder his wife and baby and, when that’s done with, turn the gun on himself. I guarantee you that you will never hear a more frightening and gruesome scream than Alan Vega’s in this little number. All music says: “But none of this is adequate preparation for “Frankie Teardrop,” one of the duo’s definitive moments, and one of the most harrowing songs ever recorded. A ten-minute descent into the soul-crushing existence of a young factory worker, Rev‘s tense, repetitive rhythms and Vega‘s deadpan delivery and horrifying, almost inhuman screams make the song more literally and poetically political than the work of bands who wore their radical philosophies on their sleeves.”
The song (and most of the band’s oevre, for that matter), is not for the faint of heart, although their second album lightened things up considerably. Springsteen even covered one of their songs (Dream Baby Dream). HIghly influential, but a band that I need to work up the nerve to listen to for any length of time.
Anyway, I couldn’t get the damn song out of my head today.
*Sorry Holly, I couldn’t resist the pun!