“I hate myself but I hate you more,” Ashley, Cold Meat vocalist.
Cold Meat is a force of nature. Equal parts neo-feminist and snarling hybrid punks, this Perth-based four-piece touch on everything from toxic relationships to being repulsed by feminine hygiene products through their music.
With all male-centric notions up for discussion, their latest seven-inch, Jimmy’s Lipstick, is a short, sharp hit of raw power that leaves you craving more. Jess Willoughby chats to the band about pivotal albums that helped shape their sound.
Bikini Kill: Pussy Whipped (1993)
I first heard Bikini Kill when a girl on the school bus let me share her walkman headphones. Before that, I’d been listening to shitty 90s pop punk, but hearing this album opened my ears to a world of rawer, more aggressive music. A gateway to other riot grrrl and feminist punk that I’m still obsessed with today. These songs are sadly just as relevant as they ever were. Cold Meat definitely take some influence from Bikini Kill. Mainly their feminist ethos rather than sound, but we did cover Sugar in one of our earlier sets.
Liliput: Compilation (2010)
I know it’s probably cheating to choose a compilation, but Liliput’s best songs weren’t released until this LP came out. All the sad and weird art I made in art school can be attributed to my favourite track, “Madness,” which I had on repeat while I cried into my cheap red cask wine in my room every night—thinking “Yes madness, what DO you want from me?”
I mainly drink wine from bottles and have healthier relationships with men nowadays, but still listen to this song at least once a week. I model my own vocals on Liliput’s, in that a lot of Cold Meat’s songs tend to evolve into erratic and desperate shouting, but begin with more earnest attempts to cohesively narrate some internal conflict. The vocals on I Hate Myself probably exhibit this the most. The other ‘Cold Meaties’ are also fans of the band, which influenced our decision to rip off the Liliput fish-cat symbol for our Jimmy’s Lipstick 7-inch test press covers.
Good Throb: Fuck Off (2014)
It’s hard to pinpoint one seminal album that changed my life or whatever. My motivation for the band comes from a wide variety of music that I’ve listened to over many years so it’s hard to say how one particular thing that influences Cold Meat. I’m choosing Good Throb because they are a current band that I really love.
I guess I can connect the dots between Cold Meat and Good Throb because I was listening to them heaps before we started Cold Meat. I love how it’s so angry, raw and rudimentary. Even in punk, you don’t often hear feminism like this because no one wants to upset all the defensive men out there. At the same time, it’s also kind of silly and funny. I had never considered playing drums before, but listening to this made me feel like I could give it a go. It doesn’t even matter if bits are slightly out of time or messy-sounding; that even makes it better. It reminded me that passion and energy are what make a band special. I try to keep that in mind when I am drumming.
Every song on this album is amazing, but I’ll go with “Dog Food Dick” because the lyrics are so good.
Electric Eels: You’re Full of Shit (1975)
I ended up choosing the Electric Eels because this was one of the bands I was listening to a lot when we formed Cold Meat, and I think what we were going for regarding Cold Meat was initially similar to them in approach.
Ashley and I had started jamming with her on bass and myself on drums. Neither of us had played these instruments before, but we wanted to do something a little more interesting, considering both of us played in other bands. We wanted to replicate some basic but raw punk, the kind of sound that comes from a band who doesn’t know how to play their instruments. Then Charlotte and Tim jumped on board and we continued in the same fashion, although we all switched up instruments again. So I guess that’s the Electric Eels reference.
Although I don’t think we really sound like them at all. There’s a malicious intent to the Eels that we don’t have. The Eels were an unhinged chaotic band, the gigs were known for degenerating into violence, (Brian) McMahon’s vocal delivery is sarcastic to the point of absolute disregard, and (John) Morton’s guitar work is simply fucked — particularly considering this was 1975. We don’t carry the same kind of violence throughout our music, but still, the Eels do continue to influence myself in the way that I think punk should be played. That is, with a certain aggression and distaste towards the common listener, executed through a fair amount of sarcasm and ridicule, in this case anyway.
The Eels never wrote an album (could you imagine if they had). So I’ve chosen the track “You’re Full of Shit.” Although it could just as well be any of their songs.