10. The Birthday Party | "Release The Bats"
"Release The Bats" by The Birthday Party from the album Release the Bats/Blast Off (1981)
Nick Cave has spent the ensuing three decades since this tune’s release decrying its goth reputation, but it’s undeniable that amidst the gurgling bass and trashcan percussive volleys of this psychedelic romp, Cave’s screeching and howling is in service of all things dark, destructive, and flapping. A straight line is drawn between sexual desire and the blood frenzy of the goth-inclined, less depressive than gleefully depraved, as bats flutter up skirts and legs are chafed by sticky wings. “My baby is a cool machine, she says, ‘Damn that horror bat sex vampire!’ ” Cave shrieks as guitarist Rowland S. Howard cruelly forces the listener’s ears through the garbage disposal of his guitar sound. It’s the sound of goth as a dark and demented debauchery, with carnality and nihilism as twin Highways to H-E-double-hockey-sticks.