An Anti-Valentines Playlist For Those Of You Having A Sulk Today
What’s that sound? That’s right, it’s silence. It’s the sound of the letterbox not opening and a card from a secret admirer not falling onto your carpet.
For many, Valentine’s Day is the most annoying date on the calendar. Singletons around the world will punch their wall calendar like Henry Rollins on that Black Flag album cover and scream at the sky wondering why they’re not involved in this Hallmark-sponsored national day of romance.
This year will have presented its own fresh challenges too, what with feeling like a slug after that ill-advised pancake marathon yesterday. Well, at least your belly is something to pat while you watch Love, Actually tonight and weep in the dark.
Here’s an anti-Valentine’s Day playlist to drown out the sound of your loved-up neighbours humping next door – and muffle your own plaintive sobs too.
Come on, cheer up. There’s always the internet.
Misfits — Die, Die My Darling (single, 1984)
Die, Die My Darling was recorded during the New Jersey horror punks’ Walk Among Us sessions but was not included on the final album. It was later released as a single on Glenn Danzig’s Plan 9 label several months after the band split. The song takes its name from the 1965 Hammer thriller Frantic, which was renamed Die! Die! My Darling! for its US – it has a 44% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, cinephiles – and Danzig’s lyrics offer a morbid reminder to a former lover: ‘I’ll be seeing you again, I’ll be seeing you in Hell’. Perfect for those who prefer to nurse a bottle of whisky in a darkened room on February 14.
Type O Negative — I Know You’re Fucking Someone Else (Slow, Deep and Hard, 1991)
The Brooklyn goth metallers’ dirge-like, sludgy fare has a habit of depleting your serotonin levels – the chemical for elevated moods – and painting your soul a nice shade of Vantablack. So you can imagine the giddy pictures the late Peter Steele would paint on the band’s debut album Slow, Deep and Hard, which was inspired in part by a seemingly turbulent relationship. This song’s lyrics explore infidelity and are largely misogynistic. Here’s a line or two that we’re comfortable sharing with you: ‘His tongue down your throat his hand up your skirt, yeah I’m a man, but it still hurts’, he croaks over a riff that sounds like slow bees.
Muse — Dead Inside (Drones, 2015)
Muse’s seventh album Drones was released a year after Matt Bellamy split from his fiancée of five years, actress Kate Hudson. Dead Inside turns the twisted mess of a broken relationship into a synth-pop number which Queen themselves would have happily released themselves circa 1984. Been dumped? Sing along: ‘you’re free to touch the sky, whilst I am crushed and pulverised’. Imagine that, being crushed <and> pulverised. It’s a wonder he could get out of bed to go to the studio.
Descendents — Clean Sheets (All, 1987)
We all know how exciting it is to climb into a bed with freshly laundered sheets, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. This offering from Descendents’ 1987 album All deals with the theme of broken relationships. The song’s chorus apparently came to drummer Bill Stevenson when he woke up one morning: ‘Even though you’ll never come clean, you know it’s true, those sheets are dirty, and so are you’. Still, clean sheets feel amazing, so there’s always that to look forward to on Valentine’s Day. Right? Anyone?
Fall Out Boy — Tell That Mick He Just Made My List of Things to Do Today (Take This to Your Grave, 2003)
The first track on Fall Out Boy’s debut takes its title from a line in the 1998 film Rushmore and is a particularly bitter post-break up workout: ‘Let’s play this game called ‘when you catch fire’, I wouldn’t piss to put you out, stop burning bridges, and drive off of them so I can forget about you’. That’s just spiteful, if we’re being honest. Just move on, mate.
Sleeping With Sirens — If You Can’t Hang (Let’s Cheers To This, 2011)
It seems even someone who looks like Kellin Quinn has had a rough old ride when it comes to relationships. While detailing romantic dalliances which have ultimately crashed and burned– ‘Well I never thought you’d stay, that’s okay, I hope he takes your filthy heart and then he throws you away someday’ – there’s a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. But ignore that bit if you’re having a rubbish time today. Skip onto the next track. Quickly, before things get all mushy. This is not the time for optimism. Not on our watch, anyway.
Shellac — Prayer To God (1000 Hurts, 2000)
The Chicago trio – fronted by Steve Albini – described their third album as “more mean-spirited”. The opening track is a chilling plea to “the one true God above” to end the life of a former partner and their new boyfriend, and builds with a homicidal fury: ‘just fucking kill him, I don’t care if it hurts, yes I do, I want it to, fucking kill him’. Fun fact: this song has never appeared on a love song compilation. Hang on, let us check that. Nope. Never.
Alkaline Trio — Radio (Maybe I’ll Catch Fire, 2000)
Who knows the circumstances that led to the band writing this song, but it’s safe to say the focus of Matt Skiba’s ire was not receiving any flowers from him that year. On the face of it, it’s a pretty/loud/pretty singalong, yet there’s mentions of driving off the edge of the world (not possible, flat earthers), drinking far too much wine and the fervent hope that his radio falls in her bath. Again, it’s all what our elderly relatives would describe as “a bit much” but Alkaline Trio’s songs are all shot through with the darkest of humour and Skiba’s tongue is planted firmly in his cheek. We hope so, anyway. Please note: do not have a radio perched on the edge of your bath under any circumstances.
Green Day — In The End (Dookie, 1994)
Here’s a curveball. In The End is not about Billie Joe Armstrong’s love life. “It’s not really about a girl, or like anyone directly related to me in a relationship,” says the frontman. It’s actually a song a song about his mother and her husband. “How long will he last before he’s a creep in the past and you’re alone once again?” But, with a little imagination, you can cry-sing this Dookie classic into your pillow and imagine it’s about a romantic car wreck where you’re the driver. It won’t take long, mind, as it’s under two minutes. Let that salty sadness flow. There, that’s better. Isn’t it? No? Oh dear.
The Bouncing Souls — Wish Me Well (You Can Go To Hell) (Hopeless Romantic, 1999)
Here’s a punk duet to conclude this thoroughly bitter 45-minute playlist. Taken from the New Jersey pop punks’ fourth album, Wish Me Well (You Can Go To Hell) features a guest vocal from Kara Wethington, who briefly enjoyed success as the pop act Katalina. It’s the sound of a faltering relationship, where Kara sings to frontman Greg Attonito, ’love is suppose to make us happy, supposed to make us grow, but i just wanna punch you in the face’. That’s not good. And within three minutes, they’re done.
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.
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