Holiday In Cambodia – Dead Kennedy’s

Rule break, Edge break, Record break. I never did post a version of Holiday In Cambodia by someone else. But as today has turned into ‘Punk Day’ and I’ve looked back over the history of songs posted here only to find The Dead Kennedy’s have been represented here purely by 90 seconds of Nazi bashing I feel it’s appropriate to slip in a touch more Jello inspired fury.

It doesn’t quite feel right describing Holiday In Cambodia as a hit. But you can’t discuss this band without this song being the monolith around which the apes get excited.

The build with the sinister bass and the mewling guitar notes is a masterclass of tension in rock. The sneering critique of ‘those types of people’ and the comparison of the plight of the truly downtrodden is as punk as anyone could muster.

“Playing ethnicky jazz to parade your snazz on your five grand stereo” might still be the single greatest lyric of the punk era. Add to that the characters in the band, the full on live performance art and the distaste for The Biz and Dead Kennedy’s can communicate more to you about ‘What is punk’ and what isn’t punk in one song. It’s a heck of a journey in three and half minutes to go from “In your Daddy’s car thinking you’ll go far” via the comedy of “Don’t forget to pack your wife” and the “What you need my Son” to the throat warbles and doom laden solos to “You’ll work hard with a gun in your back for a bowl of rice a day” and the chanted ending “Pol-Pot! Pol-Pot! Pol-Pot!”

I can’t think of another ‘hit single’ that chants the name of a murderous dictator at it’s climax and yet remains in the side of the good guys. Oh and Did I mention their Nazi Punching preferences? What a band!

8 thoughts on “Holiday In Cambodia – Dead Kennedy’s

  1. Man you are killing it here, I am here for this all day! For as much as Jello can be obnoxious, I do love this band.

    “But you can’t discuss this band without this song being the monolith around which the apes get excited.” made me LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

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