Radar Band Of The Week No:71 – Bleeding Knees Club


Radar meets Bleeding Knees Club in California the day after the biggest bash on the US party calendar, Halloween. So exactly what kind of hell-raising celebrations did this rough and tumble brat-pop duo from Queensland’s Gold Coast partake in? “We just got high,” grins beach blonde bassist Jordan Malane with the look of someone who’s far from a stranger to such activity. But at least, explains chief songwriter Alex Wall – the Ted to Jordan’s Bill – they got dressed up for the occasion. “We were all witches, but I had a big bear hat. Jordan was a sexy witch.”

Following a thrift store trip which sees Jordan proudly investing in a promo T-shirt for dodgy disaster movie Twister, we find ourselves in a Mexican restaurant plastered with pictures of Eddie Argos in Los Angeles’ hip Echo Park district. Currently on a slapdash tour of the West Coast, BKC have been spending their days here chasing waves. Their evenings? They’ve been pile-driving through their melodic doo-wop punk, like The Cramps with bodyboards instead of leathers.

When asked if any of their songs are actually over three minutes long, they screw up their noses. “I think we have one,” admits Alex, as the 22-year-olds check the 12-song-strong iPhone playlist of their forthcoming Dev Hynes-produced debut album, ‘Nothing To Do’. It turns out ‘Lipstick’ comes in at three minutes and four seconds, but such lavishness is quickly dismissed because of its extended intro. “I hate long songs,” twitches Alex from under his baseball cap. “I reckon I’m getting ADD.” Later, their frenetic show at the Echoplex is a masterclass in brevity. Joined by touring drummer Matthew Woods, the lo-fi precision and high-pitched harmonies of ‘Teenage Girls’ and ‘Have Fun’ leave the crowd – especially those expecting a full half-hour set -gasping for more. Stage invasions are commonplace back home, and they’re up for encouraging similar raucousness everywhere. “If I could have my choice I’d play in the middle of the floor,” says Alex. “I like having people all up in my face.” Put him to the test early next year when they’re back in the UK.

Need To Know:

Based: Queensland, Australia
For Fans Of: The White Stripes, DZ Deathrays
Buy It: New single ‘Teenage Girls’ is out now, while BKC’s debut album ‘Nothing To Do’ drops in March 2012
In The UK: They tour here in February
Believe It Or Not: Alex and Jordan have known each other since they were toddlers, and were born just nine days apart. Awwww

This article originally appeared in the November 26th issue of NME

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