Dead Milkmen to Cover Heaven 17’s ‘Fascist Groove Thang’ on New Single
Philadelphia punk stalwarts the Dead Milkmen will release a new seven-inch single this month — featuring a cover of Heaven 17’s 1981 song “(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang” — via the Giving Groove.
The seven-inch will boast the Heaven 17 cover on the A-side and a new original, “A Complicated Faith,” on the B-side. The record will arrive on August 21st and is available to preorder now. As is standard for the Giving Groove, all label profits from the release will be donated to a music-related charity, and the Dead Milkmen have selected Girls Rock Philly, a group “dedicated to building an intergenerational community of girls, women and trans and gender non-conforming people” through music.
The new single marks the Dead Milkmen’s first new release since their 2017 EP, Welcome to the End of the World (their last full-length album, Pretty Music for Pretty People, arrived in 2014). The Dead Milkmen have been regularly covering “(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang” live since the 2016 election, and recorded their version with producer Joe Nicolo. Live, vocalist and keyboardist Rodney Anonymous had been slightly tweaking Heaven 17’s original screed about Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan to fit the current political moment, although the recorded version sticks to the original lyrics, per Heaven 17’s request.
“I’ve always loved the song,” Anonymous said in a statement. “It’s just there. You can’t ignore it. I wish we could do happy covers, but we’re never given those times to work in.”
As for the Dead Milkmen’s new song, “A Complicated Faith” was inspired in part by Depeche Mode. Drummer Dean Clean said: “It’s obviously a very emotional song for Rodney to sing. Rodney’s really into industrial goth music. He’s introduced that to the band and we’ve been willing to go along for the ride.”
The Dead Milkmen are prepping a new album that they hope to release in 2021. The band was set to record it this year but had to put their plans on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the meantime, they have been hosting a weekly YouTube series called Big Questions with the Dead Milkmen.