4. Christian Death | "Romeo’s Distress"
"Romeo’s Distress" by Christian Death from the album Only Theatre Of Pain (1982)
An unsettling post-punk anthem off 1982’s deathrock trailblazer Only Theatre of Pain, “Romeo’s Distress” cracks out of the gate with an impatient, forward-pounding bassline from James McGearty, Rikk Agnew’s razorwire guitarwork, and then, after 39 seconds of raw power, vocalist Rozz Williams’s racist offerings. One has to wonder where “Romeo’s Distress” would truly stand in the underground’s hierarchy if the Rozzer didn’t drop the n-bomb and suggest to “dance in your white sheet glory.” Whatever the argument in defense of Rozz, I’ve personally met bands who refuse to cover the song despite loving it musically, and it’s a shame an attempt to be edgy or portray Los Angeles race relations or whatever the fuck he was getting at ultimately mars one of the most evil punk songs ever.