MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT has built a legacy of experimentalism and glorification of pop-culture trash and their 1991 WAX TRAX! RECORDS released SEXPLOSION encapsulates all of that gawdy, industrial madness, with the hit single “Sex on Wheelz” characterized as a “compressed and propulsive a celebration of fornication and driving as anything else America has ever come up with.” (Ned Raggett, Allmusic).
Often described as the Gothic-Disco legends’ best work, both critically and commercially, SEXPLOSION celebrates 30 years of manic debauchery with a remastered reissue on limited edition vinyl On June 17 via Wax Trax!, featuring the never-before-heard track “Any Way Ya Wanna” from the original studio session,
“When Sexplosion! came out, I think some fans were put off by the disco style of the album, even though we had been using disco samples and beats in our previous two albums, just not so blatantly. Or maybe they didn’t like the fact we switched out the Satanic references for pin-up girls and sex. Whatever the case, it was time for us to mix things up, move on and explore new avenues. Besides, we had WAY too much fun writing it, and even more fun performing it live, which was really the whole point. And here we are 30 years later, revisiting this crazy album. It’s a bit surreal. At the time, I don’t think any of us thought we’d even live this long! I was really happy we found a forgotten track and some unreleased remixes to spice things up and add some more sex appeal to the Wax Trax! reissue.” – Buzz McCoy
“’Any Way ya Wanna’ is a killer kool lost disko track found in the molten vaults of TKK, full of sex, escorted by flash” – Groovie Mann
SEXPLOSION Original Track List:
1. “The International Sin Set”
3. “A Martini Built for Two”
4. “Dream Baby”
5. “Mood No. 6”
7. “Princess of the Queens (The Lost Generation)”
8. “Sex on Wheelz”
9. “A Continental Touch”
10. “Mystery Babylon”
11. “Dream Baby” (Nocturnal Mix)
12. “Sex on Wheelz” (Radio Mix)
SEXPLOSION Re-Issue Track List:
A1. The International Sin Set
A3. A Martini Built For 2
A4. Dream Baby
A5. Mood No. 6
B2. Princess Of The Queens (The Lost Generation)
B3. Sex On Wheelz
B4. A Continental Touch
B5. Mystery Babylon
C1. Any Way Ya Wanna (Previously Unreleased)
C2. Sex On Wheelz (Midnite Marauder Mix)
C3. Leathersex (Remix)
D1. Sexplosion (Mega-Mixxx)
Hailing from Chicago’s renowned Wax Trax! Records stable of recording artists, MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT has been conjuring up sonic tales of sex, blasphemy, and kitschy horror since 1987. Along with label mates such as Front 242, KMFDM, and Ministry, TKK (as often abbreviated), helped develop the industrial music genre, but they themselves continued to evolve, creating one of the most diverse repertoires in modern-day music. Their sound can be described as electronic rock, heavily influenced by both disco and funk. One of their most distinctive characteristics is the use of spoken-word samples lifted from B-movies laced throughout their songs. Since debuting, they have released 13 studio albums, and their music has been featured in a variety of films, television/cable shows, and soundtracks, all the while making a reputation for themselves as one of the most notorious and controversial cult bands of their generation.
Artist Franke Nardiello and musician Marston Daley, two Chicago neighbors who enjoyed late-night burritos while watching foreign horror movies on VHS rented from the corner store, began conspiring to make a trashy B movie (in the style of Russ Meyer and John Waters) to be called “My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult”. While the film itself never came to fruition, they also wrote some music to be the accompanying soundtrack. Both worked at Wax Trax! Records in Chicago, and when the label heard the tracks, they were intrigued and eager to release it.
The duo took the title of the film as the name for their band and decided to focus on the musical group full time. Taking the stage names Groovie Mann (Nardiello) and Buzz McCoy (Daley), they worked on creating an occult-biker meets disco-rock influence look for the project, which included a bevy of voluptuous backup singers and dancers known as the BOMB GANG GIRLZ. The New York Times wrote, “Sex, blasphemy, big beats, and go-go dancing; they’re all in a day’s work for My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult ”. This attracted the attention of indie fans and the ire of religious groups in practically equal measure. They released their first album I See Good Spirits And I See Bad Spirits in 1988 followed up by the hard-hitting dance floor classics “Kooler Than Jesus” and “A Girl Doesn’t Get Killed By A Make-Believe Lover Cuz It’s Hot,” which featured no-wave chanteuse Lydia Lunch on vocals. By the time they released their second album, Confessions Of A Knife (1990), they were far and away one of the biggest selling acts on the label.
In 1991, the band embarked on the decadent “Sexplosion! Tour”, titled after their third album. Alternative Press reviewed the show as “Sin-sational!”. The tour was a success and the record sold so well that they signed a deal with Interscope Records shortly afterward, and the single “Sex On Wheelz” became a sizeable radio hit.
Hollywood also embraced the group, recognizing the unique cinematic aspect of their sound. The band’s music has appeared in a slew of films and tv/cable shows including, director Ralph Bakshi’s “Cool World”, Paul Verhoven’s saucy “Showgirls”, MTV’s “Beavis And Butthead“, and the cult film classic “The Crow”, in which the ensemble make a cameo appearance performing their song “After The Flesh”. More recently the KULT was written into the storyline of the 2014 film “Sexy Evil Genius” starring Seth Green.
THRILL KILL KULT continue to release new material via their own SleazeBox Records label (sleazebox.com) and tour extensively with a rotating cast of musicians and dubious characters, however, the core of the project has always been Nardiello and Daley, both on record and in the live act. Their performances sizzle with sleaze and infectious grooves, as Melody Maker once described, “A red hot cabaret from Hell”.
Order yours on vinyl right here: http://waxtraxchicago.bigcartel.com/product/tkk-sexplosion-2lppink-vinyl
photo credits: TAG Publicity