pony up – make love to the judges with your eyes

i believe this was my first documented bandwagon moment. i occasionally still watched rage and listened to triple j. a couple of their songs were floating around, by which i mean, being flogged (so to speak). it almost seems like australia was the only place that gave them popularity. this could be related to the direct link to ben lee (who i have to say was never, ever my cup of tea).

it seems quite odd that it ultimately seemed to end there, because while it was perhaps not the best music every written, they had skill enough to write and perform often very catchy songs that articulated heartbreak with great insight.

for instance, probably the best known is the truth about cats and dogs. it is a fantastically succinct bass-driven song with notable melody. it really feels like it drew on formulae of a band like veruca salt.

even in the first song, dance for me, there’s a strength with great power and innuendo in some of the lyrics, like: i’ve got that look in my eyes, and you know that i could eat you alive, you know that i could just take you inside. it’s simple, but actually effective.

they seem to have been unique even in the last seven years since this album – there aren’t a lot of all female bands anymore. it’s paying tribute to a strong movement in the 1990s, though this is more pop than rock. i know that it’s not because music or the world moved beyond the need for women to express their own thoughts and desires – ample male “artists” these days are producing possibly unparalleled misogyny.

and yet it didn’t provide me with the fury i may have wanted to call on at the point it arrived, having found myself out of a relationship that i didn’t want to end, and one that had started through a mutual friend. the exception on this album was a song like the best offence, worth citing in full for the reality of the whole story:

don’t tell me they all hate me now too. don’t tell me it all comes back to you. the only thing i can think to do is to sap some strength from somebody new. i miss not knowing you so well. you make yourself useful to each one who cries, and then left without you they’ll be paralysed. my self-respect means more to me than you do, or at least it used to. i miss not knowing you so well. i wonder what it was i thought that i knew. did i realise i would never be enough for you? you ask again what is it that i’m waiting for. that is a stupid question, that is to be sure. you sit there calmly with your eloquence. and i thought the best offence was a good defence, but i keep losing every round. i remember when it all started going down. i remember the beer caught in my throat and the lonely comfort of my only winter coat. i could tell you exactly when i fell, it was back when i did not know you so well.


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