McCarthy – ‘Get A Knife Between Your Teeth’

McCarthy were an overtly political, London-based indie pop band, active in the second half of the ’80s. Get A Knife Between Your Teeth, released in 1990, was their final single, taken from their third and last album Banking, Violence and the Inner Life Today. It’s a funky, uplifting, oxymoronic hybrid. It’s a left-wing battle cry set to a wah-wah riff. A call to arms with a baggy, indie beat. A melodic, rabble-rousing, danceable demand for revolution.

Raise your voice and raise your fist
Troublemakers your time is coming
You have the planet at your feet
You can kick the whole world forward

YouTube player

McCarthy had an early song, Celestial City, featured on NME’s legendary C86 cassette and fitted snugly into that jangly guitar pop archetype. However, where most of the C86 bands’ lyrics concerned unrequited love between members of the cardigan wearing community, McCarthy were singing about anti-capitalist revolution and Marxism.

Consequently, they had catchy, satirical song titles like And Tomorrow the Stock Exchange will be the Human Race, Should The Bible be Banned, The Procession of Popular Capitalism and Use a Bank I’d Rather Die. Their first two albums were entitled I Am a Wallet and The Enraged Will Inherit the Earth – in short, the sort of titles you’d expect from Rage Against The Machine or Crass, not from the average jangle-pop act. Their name, if you hadn’t guessed, was taken from the infamous, anti-communist, pit bull Senator Joe McCarthy.

Get A Knife Between Your Teeth, with its dance beat and wah-wah guitar wasn’t exactly reflective of the band’s other output – maybe a last, failed effort to catch the contemporary vibe and get some airplay? – but the subject matter is. Lyrically, it’s another example of their anti-establishment standpoint. Their final single sees them continuing to incite revolution like a hardcore punk band, but doing it using their unique brand of indie pop.



About author View all posts Author website

Nick Perry

Nick writes fact, fiction and opinion in various places including
his music blog His musical tastes cover indie, grunge, golden-era hip hop, punk, funk, psychedelia and a big portion of distortion. You can and should follow him on Twitter @NoiseCrumbs.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.