Very few genres in and of themselves are utilitarian, but that’s not to say they are without their uses, or perhaps ‘purpose’ is a more correct word. Let’s look at post-punk, for example: A fantastic expression of avant-garde sensibilities, a brilliant addition of tone to a film soundtrack and, as we learn this week, a means by which it can be stuck to The Man, as is the case with ‘Paleface (Pell In Hell)’ the brand new track from international post-punk ensemble, YFC.
Coming in at under three minutes, ‘Paleface (Pell In Hell)’ certainly wastes no time getting to the point. In the band’s own words, the single “is an accelerating, exhilarating drums and bass descent into the netherworld”. Instrumentally, the whip-lash inducing pace indeed instills a strong sense that we’re falling down somewhere, and fast. The lyrical content – vocal grabs pertaining to the recent court case involving historical child sex abuses and Australia’s highest ranking Catholic, George Pell – strongly indicate the only possible destination is a realm of endless agony and pain – The Inferno itself.
Should any of that be lost on the listener, the single’s visuals, originally designed by Hieronymus Bosch and Michelangelo, will get the hint across. It’s anxious; hyperventilating in its urgency. We have no idea what ‘Paleface (Pell In Hell)’ will do to your blood pressure, on account of the pace and subject matter. However, if you’re feeling your internal rage-o-meter rising; good, you’re still human.
Self-described as “Seminal post punk rhythmic pop cultural referential art rock”, YFC are a unique beast, harking back to the halcyon days of post-punk, the mid-80s, a time when the only rule really was that there were to be no rules. YFC comprises of two bassists and a drummer, with members spanning the globe from Norwegian, Australian, Japanese and New Zealand, one of which is acclaimed filmmaker Jonathan Ogilvie (The Tender Hook, Lone Wolf).
It was all enough to impress none other than Nick Cave and if it’s good enough for Nick Cave, it’s good enough for the rest of us. ‘Paleface (Pell In Hell)’ is the first peek under the sheets of the group’s forthcoming full-length album, the release date of which is currently TBC. The band worked with producer Rob Mayes to get the job done on what will be their first album since 2011’s Ricochet.
Speaking to Blunt Magazine about the new single, Ogilvie explains: “The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Australia released in May 2020 found that Cardinal Pell was aware of ongoing crimes but took no action to protect Catholic children. These disturbing findings have been stifled in the media by the shouts of pandemic and lockdown. We thought it important to give them full voice.
Pell has his beliefs, we have ours. He believes in Hell, we believe he deserves to go there.”