Perversity, Desperation and Death: The Origins of Singapore Sling

By Lindsay Krause

Join us for a cinematic journey into the darkest corners of art and music, as we use lyrics from Singapore Sling to describe the depraved film from which the band took their name. 

Released in 1990, their namesake is a surrealist-horror-film-noir pastiche by Greek art-house auteur Nikolaos Nikolaidis. It's a deranged festival of perversity, desperation and death, that revels in drawn out depictions of sex and torture, which leave the viewer feeling equally defiled and complicit.

The tale follows a wounded detective in search of his long lost love. A typical premise for a romantic film noir, the plot takes a sadistic turn when he falls prey to a crazed mother and daughter duo who subject him to a bizarre array of masochistic sex acts involving chains, vomit, corpses, electrocution and one achingly ripe kiwifruit. 

Not knowing his real name, the pair call him Singapore Sling because of a cocktail recipe they find in his pocket. It’s an odd twist of black humour that such a banal and sugary hotel lobby cocktail would be associated with this character, this film and this band.

If we give the director his artistic dues, we can say the film explores themes of love and loss through the lens of film genres of fading glory. Much the same can be said of musical approach of Singapore Sling the band, and as the film’s sinister narrative unravels, it seems as if lyrics from the band could act as an alternate commentary by a real life version of the film's hapless protagonist.

Interestingly, the band never actually watched the film before selecting their name, but instead chose it for its reputation. 

If you’re brave enough, take a look at the full film here, but for those faint of heart, we’ll give you the synopsis through a lyrical journey into Singapore Sling’s extensive discography. 

 

Singapore Sling band
"They're weak and pure at heart
They're fucked up from the start"
'Martian Arts' from Perversity, Desperation and Death2009

The film opens with the terrorising pair digging the grave of their chauffeur, who they've recently gutted. In the distance, the man who will come to be known as Singapore Sling is lurking on the property. Suffering from a bullet wound in his shoulder, he recalls his reason for being there on that fateful and miserable night: searching in vain for his past love, Laura, who went missing long ago. He believes she had made an appearance in the area.
 
 
 
 
 
 


  
 singapore sling band
"Long past crazy
I'm long past crazy" 
'Long Past Crazy' from Taste the Blood of Singapore Sling2005

After the nameless women finish burying alive their chauffeur, the daughter breaks the fourth wall to inform the audience about the history of her family's grotesque ways. Laura was the first kill for the mother and daughter three years. To celebrate the memory, they engage in a disturbing role playing game with the daughter assuming the role of Laura. The now deceased father and husband is responsible for much of the madness portrayed, having killed servants in the past and violated his daughter at a young age.
singapore sling band
"Everything's going to become much worse, unimaginably worse" 
'Evil Madness' from Singapore Sling Must Be Destroyed2010

The lovesick detective makes the catastrophic decision to knock on the door of the half-clothed maniacs, only to be taken prisoner, tied to the bed and subjected to their sick ways. While he is unconscious, a notebook is retrieved from his pocket, detailing his search for Laura and a recipe for the gin cocktail Singapore Sling. 
singapore sling band
"Join me in my pain
Love me til you're insane"
'Freaks' from Never Forever2011
The daughter visits Singapore Sling while her mother is asleep, and proceeds to mount and vomit on the man, while simultaneously urging him to forget about the slain Laura. The mother discovers these activities and hints that Singapore Sling will end up in the grave like the chauffeur. The daughter scowls in response, "Honestly, someday I'll kill her, and I won't have anybody over my head." She assumes the role of "Laura" and tries to convince Singapore Sling that she is the dead woman, and that they should kill her mother and be together.


Singapore Sling Band
"I was born and bred on my own deathbed...
You can load your guns and shoot me in the head
It won't make a difference I'm already dead"
'Living Dead' from Life is Killing My Rock and Roll2004
Following various scenes of electric shock, S&M and sexual torture, it becomes apparent that death is in the air. Singapore Sling, who is now free from his chains but in a state of delusion, begins to dig a grave in the backyard. He is also suspected of stealing a knife from the attic.
singapore sling band
"If you're lookin for a thrill
And you're ready for a kill
We'll take out everyone"
'Kill Baby Kill' from The Tower of Foronicity2014
While taking a leisurely bath, the mother is impaled with a pitchfork by Singapore Sling as her daughter plunges her underwater. Singapore Sling and "Laura" re-enact the secretary game from the beginning of the film, though with one major difference: Singapore Sling possesses the giant knife. The daughter attempts to escape from the man, but is literally "sexed to death" by Singapore Sling who attacks her with a knife between his legs. Brandishing a luger pistol, "Laura" falls to the ground and delivers one fatal shot to her killer.
Singapore Sling Band
"Give me some of your poison
So I can die by your side"
'Dying Alive' from Psych Fuck, 2015     
"Come to me, come to me
I'll treat you good in the afterlife"
'Afterlife' from Never Forever, 2011
In a strange moment of tenderness, the two embrace each other as they hold on to their last breaths. "Let me hang on to you....You see how right I was when I said you were in love with a corpse?" "Laura" shoots the detective once more as she's wandering about waiting to die. He then returns to sleep in his freshly dug grave, noting "I'll be in good company tonight."
singapore sling psych fuck

Singapore Sling's eighth album, Psych Fuck, was released in November 2015 and is available on vinyl, deluxe edition, CD and digital download.  
You can also catch them on tour in Europe kicking off January 27th 2016 in Manchester, UK.
January 02, 2016 by Alexandra Dunn

Trip The Light Fantastic: A Night of Photography, Film and Music

Trip The LIght Fantastic Exhibition Event

A truly kaleidoscopic night of mind expanding photography, film and music to raise glasses and funding towards the finishing of the documentary, Trip, which tells the story of the birth of psych.

Trip director Lilly Creightmore has been documenting psych culture and capturing performances and interviews from artists such as 13th Floor Elevators, Spacemen 3, The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Black Angels, from Austin, to South Africa, the UK and into the hearts and minds of a global collective of psychedelic rock n rollers, movers, groovers and tambourine shakers.

Trip The Light Fantastic is the first in a series of preview events, which will showcase behind the scenes stills and footage from Trip alongside a kaleidoscopic array of audio-visual delights from Creightmore's collaborators.

On show there will be hand-painted portraits and a screening of Super 8 film Journey to Levitation shot by Antonio Curcetti on his maiden voyage to the infamous Levitation (Austin Psych Fest).

Light shows and experimental film loops by London's premier analogue projection wizard Julian Hand will also be on display alongside music from The Oscillation's Demian Castellanos, Tomaga, and a DJ set from Douglas Hart of The Jesus and Mary Chain.

Trip The Light Fantastic
Thursday 3rd December 2015
7.30 til late

Unit 2E, 20 Felstead Street
London E9 5LT 

Entry by cash donation 

 

December 01, 2015 by Alexandra Dunn