THE BIRTHDAY PARTY

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We went from a raw garage band through experimentalism back to raw blues almost. It was kind of like that, we just ended up doing raw, violent experimental music.

Mick Harvey, Stranded, 1996

Formed: 1978 (as The Boys Next Door), Melbourne, Australia

Featured album: Prayers on Fire (1981)

IF HELL WERE a circus, and that circus had a strip club, The Birthday Party would be its house band. One of the most blasphemous and licentious groups to emerge from the post-punk movement, their career was an all-too short and brutish plummet from grace, filled with drugs, debauchery and some of the most violently original music to come out of Australia both then or since.

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THEY WERE WRONG, SO WE DROWNED (2004)

They Were Wrong So We Drowned

Artist: Liars
Label: Mute
Producer: David Sitek, Liars
Cover art: Beate Schlingelhoff-Gross
Length: 40:42

‘I NO LONGER want to be a man, I want to be a horse,’ Angus Andrew chants on “Broken Witch”, the opening track of Liars’ second full-length album, They Were Wrong, So We Drowned. A statement of intent, this incantation expresses not just a wish for transcendence from humanity, but the band’s messy transformation from your garden-variety dance-punk act into a herd of untamed art-punk weirdos.

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