This song came out at the arse-end of 2017, but fuck it – if there’s one thing 2018 needs it’s a song and vehemently renounces the bullshit of the past few years. Bitch Diesel gave the year that was the middle finger by releasing ‘The Skull’, a scathing indictment of the racism that is increasingly prevalent in the Australian social landscape. To be clear, racism in Australia is institutional and ever-present, this here tune points out the rising tide of fearlessness that racists have in spewing forth their views in the wake of social setbacks like Trump’s presidency, Brexit and the reelection of Pauline Hanson. ‘The Skull’ pulls no punches, singling out Pauline Hanson as a key problematic figurehead of Australia’s resurgent wave of racism and bigotry. The song also weaves in a tale of a Neo Nazi in the making and his obsession with his extremist queen Pauline.
Set to a backdrop of whirring synths, crunchy guitars and crashing tub work, Bitch Diesel punches into gear and rips into its target. ‘The Skull’ alludes to Australia’s growing problem with white nationalism that is starting to spread into the mainstream – a worrying mindset that seemingly isn’t contained to older, out-of-touch generations. Bitch Diesel’s prognosis for Australia if this trend continues is understandably bleak, as echoed in the chorus:
They’ll make this country hell again (Pauline)
No culture and no eloquence (Pauline)
A place with nowhere safe for us (Pauline)
A country full of ignorance (Pauline)
Australia is reaching a figurative crossroads between its antiquated colonial past and its potential vibrant future as a multicultural haven. It’s clear that certain members of our political assembly are keen to keep us on the path of stymied progression and social stagnation – a boulevard already paved with shame and aggression. The tough times won’t disappear immediately, but 2018 is already shaping up to be a crucial period for change. Once we reach the critical juncture, I’m confident that most of us in the country would prefer pick the avenue aimed at progress, especially if it’s people like Bitch Diesel behind the wheel.