Mat McNerney of the dark and brooding Grave Pleasures – formerly known as Beastmilk – was kind enough to give us a list of his favourite post-punk and goth rock anthems that he grew up with in the eighties. Check out the list below.
Grave Pleasures’s new album Dreamcrash is out now on Sony Music. Here’s their latest video New Hip Moon:
Chris Isaak: Wicked Game (David Lynch video version)
”I had this one on a VHS at the end of Wild at Heart. I always preferred this video to the frivolous video with Helena Christiansen – which I thought lacked the dark and weirdly southern gothic vibe of the song. David Lynch’s version, with scenes from Wild At Heart and the band in monochrome was perfect in my opinion. They’re dressed like Mexican troubadours with these day of the dead cake decoration guitars and stuff and it’s got all that melancholic unrequited love pangs that are rushing through the song. I love the match tips exploding on fire and the close-up fades and everything. It’s cheesy for sure but totally in the right amount. I take a lot of inspiration from Chris Isaak, especially on the Grave Pleasures Dreamcrash album, which is essentially a breakup record.”
Suburban Lawns: Janitor
”I was actually introduced to this video by our old divorced guitarist in Beastmilk, Goatspeed a few years ago. So I have to credit him with that, at least! Ha ha.
I didn’t grow up with this one. But I know I will always come back to it, now that I know it.
It became like our Beastmilk anthem. I still listen to it a lot and now I even hunted down a bootleg Suburban Lawns shirt. We looked into getting the same producer from their album to do the 2nd Beastmilk album, before we changed into Grave Pleasures. Maybe we’ll still work with him one day. And I wanted to get Svart to re-issue the album but I don’t know if it will ever happen. I ought to seek out a copy on LP – as I’m wearing out the mp3s.
The song itself is totally gold.
Then the video. The editing and the lyrics on screen. The lyrics are like Beastmilk/Grave Pleasures in overdrive. The singer Su Tissue’s weird behaviour. Their clothes. The presenter’s glasses and rain-mac. Everything about the video is bizarre. Its like some kind of alien snapshot of an alternative future. If you don’t like this song and this video, then I don’t think you and me would be friends.”
Duran Duran: The Wild Boys
”I still love this video. I used to watch it a lot as my sisters had this Duran Duran VHS at home and it was always in the machine. I probably ended up watching that VHS more than they did. Does anyone remember the smell of VHS tapes and the machines? It was a really special smell – like warmed up machine parts and plastic.
Anyway I think the video is still really ahead of it’s time in that kinda 80s sic-fi B-movie way. It cost over a million dollars, which even at the time was a fortune. The director was the guy who did Highlander! So it has that really cool blue-tinged lightening vibe to the fx!
Simon Le Bon is a big inspiration for me with the vocals for Beastmilk and Grave Pleasures.”
The Cure: Lullaby
”I would have to pick this one as one of my favourites of all time. The Burton-esque video was very creepy to me back in the 80’s. I was totally frightened of Robert Smith. I was never sure if he was a man or a lady. He was just too scary.
Watching it now, it still totally rocks. Nobody has really come close to this since. It was only years later that I knew about the meaning behind the lyrics and then I was creeped out on a whole new level. I won’t ruin that for anyone who doesn’t know. But it’s a video and song that has the potential to send shivers to both children and adults.”
Joy Division: Transmission
”Look at Ian Curtis in this video. He looks fucked UP! It’s sweaty and awkward, but it rocks so hard! And the crowd! He’s screaming ’dance dance dance dance dance to the radio’ and they’re hardly moving. It’s brilliant. All in these suits. Like they’re just bursting to break out of the the strict regiments and boundaries of life in that era. Must have been so stifling to live in Britain then.
And man the drumming. It’s like Uno in No Survival or Crying Wolves from our Grave Pleasures album. He’s in this constant rhythm. The whole song is pinned around that eternal beat. I find it really claustrophobic but at the same time it sends me mental. i want to break out and kick the doors and windows down. Perfect song and a great video, even if it is just a live clip. Would love to re-interpret/tribute this sometime in the vibe.”
Danzig: Killer Wolf
”This was early 90’s. We watched it on MTV, Headbangers Ball. It knocked our socks off as kids. We’d never known anything like it. I was getting more into the heavier stuff then. I had got really hooked on Morbid Angel and then along came Danzig and just refreshed classic rock and brought me back.
There’s no way to deny the excellence of early Danzig. The monochrome purity of the video totally and perfectly represents the music. And they’re so macho! It’s impossible for anyone else to get away with being that macho in a video. It’s undeniably sexy! The guy is just a boss!
I think we took a lot of inspiration from this video for our video to New Hip Moon with Grave Pleasures. I just can’t get the macho thing going though. I probably would need steroids!”