Monday, May 3, 2010

New Wave for the New Week #64

Mental as AnythingMental as Anything via

Virtually every genre of music shares at least one commonality: the break-up song. Depending on the musical style and the personality of the artist, they can range from heartwrenching to hopeful, from revenge-fantasy to prayer for reconciliation, from haunting to maudlin.

And then there is this week's NW4NW entry from Australia's Mental As Anything, the brilliantly titled "If You Leave Me Can I Come Too?"

Coming together in a Sydney art school in the mid '70s, Mental As Anything are about as Aussie as you can get. With their dry and sometimes randy sense of humor, off-kilter melodies and lyrics, and a bit of didgeridoo lowing in the background, Mental As Anything first made waves in their home country with a Top 20 drinking song, "The Nips Are Getting Bigger."

By the time they released their masterpiece in 1981, Mental As Anything had a strong cult following. Their timing was perfect - they were able to ride the wave of Australian bands being embraced by the New Wave (Split Enz, Men At Work, Midnight Oil, etc.), and "If You Leave Me..." saw considerable airplay on MTV and in New Wave clubs both here and in Europe.

After that one cult classic, Mental As Anything seemed to drop off the radar. In actuality, they never stopped making records, and continue to be well-known and loved in their homeland.

This week's NW4NW entry is the clip for that wondrous tale of a doomed relationship and our hero who refuses to let it go. Enjoy "If You Leave Me Can I Come Too?" by Mental As Anything:

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