Wednesday, 24 March 2021

The Interstellar Villains

In the year since Covid-19 struck the one thing that has truly burgeoned is Not Unloved's YouTube bookmarks folder. A couple of the most fun and hence most watched clips are courtesy of Australian early 90s garage/indie pop troupe The Interstellar Villains. With such a b-movie name, it's only fitting that their videos are decidedly low-res and packed full of 60s references (The Prisoner, Screaming Lord Sutch, Bridget Riley etc.) and fashions. The video for their "My Boyfriend Is An Outlaw" single with Alison Handley is a cheery little romp that could give Icky Boyfriends a run for their money in sub-Desperate Teenage Lovedolls archness:


If only they'd made a dent in my consciousness 30 years ago. Unusually, there is also a video for the flipside of "My Boyfriend Is An Outlaw" which is enjoyably Op Art-on-a-budget cool:


There's a winning waywardness to "I Love You', She Said" which certainly doesn't paint them as pouting- for-the-camera careerists. I suspect that The Interstellar Villains are well known to those more knowledgeable of the various personnel changes of The Scientists as Tony Thewlis spent a fair chunk of the 80s playing guitar for that legendary ensemble. It transpires, too, that Thewlis wrote one of Not Unloved's mixtape/cd-r comp faves of 20 years ago - the lead track on this - by The Scoundrelles which also memorably appeared on this ace Sympathy For The Record Industry compilation of wyld garage dunts recorded at London's valve amp mecca, Toe Rag Studios.

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