Philadelphia punk outfit the Dead Milkmen have released their cover of Heaven 17’s 1981 song, “(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang,” which will appear on a new seven-inch record out Friday, August 21st, via the Giving Groove.
The Dead Milkmen’s take on “Fascist Groove Thang” finds them expertly channeling the slick post-punk beat and percolating bass of Heaven 17’s original while swapping the synths out for steady guitars and electric keys. Most important though, the Dead Milkmen keep the chorus a communal rallying cry, bellowing together, “Brothers, sisters, we don’t need no fascist groove thang!”
The Dead Milkmen have been covering “(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang” live since the 2016 election, and recorded their version with producer Joe Nicolo. While vocalist and keyboardist Rodney Anonymous had been slightly tweaking Heaven 17’s original lyrics about Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan to fit the current political moment, Heaven 17 requested the Dead Milkmen stick to the original lyrics on the recorded version.
Anonymous tells Rolling Stone of the song: “I’d like to thank Heaven 17 for writing a great Pro-Democracy song.” Drummer Dean Clean adds: “I’ve loved this track since it came out and it’s perfect for this moment now.”
“I enjoyed playing the song live and it was fun to record it in [Nicolo’s studio] Joe’s Garage,” guitarist Joe Jack Talcum says. “I almost thought it would never come out but it’s almost a blessing that it got delayed because this is a really good moment for it.”
The Dead Milkmen’s cover of “Fascist Groove Thang” will appear on the A-side of the single, with a new original, “A Complicated Faith” on the B-side. While the first limited-run pressing of 500 copies has sold out, a second pressing is available to preorder via the Giving Groove and is expected to arrive on October 30th. Like all Giving Groove releases, all label profits from the single will be donated to a music-related charity, with the Dead Milkmen choosing Girls Rock Philly.
“Nothing brings me greater pleasure than forwarding the vision of musical artists, pushing socio-political causes, who are also invested in giving back to their community,” the Giving Groove’s Matt Teacher says. “To me, working with the Dead Milkmen checks all those boxes and is a dream come true.”