Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Brian Thorn at The Magic Shop in NYC during CMJ weekend 2011
For the long and exhausting week that is CMJ week in New York City for those young bands trying to make something of themselves, to arouse the kind of buzz that can take them places in a hurry, it's a good idea to be wearing some shoes that your feet are familiar with. They should be worn in, almost worn out. It's one of the last things you should need to worry about - the well-being of your feet - while you're schlepping all over the place, trying to get ahead of the rat race. Well, young punk rockers from Queensland, Australia, the Bleeding Knees Club, had a bit of a rough week that way. The shows were great, but their feet were not. Their feet were literally bleeding in their shoes for the entirety of the week. Then, to add insult to injury, during the middle of this session - taped at the famed Magic Shop while we were in town for the festival - lead singer Alex Wall got himself a bloody nose to go along with the bloody feet. The knees were just fine though.
One would think that the Bleeding Knees Club dudes (mainstays Wall and guitarist/vocalist Jordan Malane, along with a roving auxiliary player) would need to keep those feet in great shape for all of the chasing after teenage girls that they seem to either do or project onto themselves through their songs. They are on the prowl for girls everywhere they go. There is probably no shortage of fine honies in Queensland, but it would seem that they might not have been able to get through a single meal in New York City during the week of this taping, with hordes of girls streaming by windows at a rate that would be hard for anyone to keep up with, caring little about the effects that all that whiplash was going to take on their necks. Wall and Malane sing, "Teenage girls/You're my world," and conjure up this wonderland of infatuation, this miserably awesome world of preoccupation with anything with a cute face and boobs. They're cruising around in cars and thinking that their parents are real drags.
The choice of words that the two singers use is in direct line with the vernacular from the "American Bandstand" years and earlier. We're thrown into a modern, skinny-pantsed society, but some things never, ever change all that much. These clubbers might be dirty-minded boys, but they're not all that different from those boys on "Happy Days" or the "Dick Van Dyke Show." It's downright wholesome to chase after girls every waking minute and the same goes for writing songs about it. There's no getting around it. They sing, "I just wanna have fun," and that's about as universal as language gets.