Imagine David Lee Roth had finally discovered his inner feminist and you'll have a sense of what to expect from this riffing glam metal juggernaut from Melbourne, Australia in which the primitive thought processes men use to sexualise women are summed up in nine words: "I will beat my chest / Until you are undressed".
"The song came from a conversation I was having with a friend," explains Pacing the Cage frontman Andrew Mullen. "She was getting ready to go out dancing for the night and we were joking and sarcastically saying that she was getting ready to 'get lucky'. At some point in the ridiculousness of this conversation I asked, ‘Do you have the thrill for the morning after pill?’ Afterwards when thinking of the absurdness of such a comment, I thought that although it is a disgustingly sexist comment, the sad thing is, that in short of saying these actual words, there is a large amount of males who actually think this way."
Taking on the voice of an unreconstructed Aussie macho man, Andrew hopes the song can "show just how primitive and unacceptable their behaviours are. How they are on the ‘prowl’, how they treat women essentially like ‘modern concubine’, how highly they think of themselves (In Australia, we call these guys FIGJAMs - F*ck I’m Good, Just Ask Me) and that women should be thankful they are interested in them."
The chugging guitar takes a breath during the middle eight to make way for a Lennon/McCartney pastiche as Mullen gently croons, free from self-knowledge: "There is no confusion that I possess / I see you want me by the way you dress" before the jaw-dropping technical guitar solo bursts the bubble like a sexist-seeking missile.
And speaking of David Lee Roth… 30 years ago, you didn't have to be sexist to be in a spandex rock band, but it sure helped. In the Eighties, Thrill Pill would have been taken at face value - the assumption being that women should be falling flat on their backs for any male rock singer who asks for her to be brought backstage. But has that really changed?
"Many men still treat women as objects to serve a purpose in their lives," continues Andrew, giving vent to the strength of feeling behind the song. "Another example that helps explain why I think [institutionalised sexism] has actually gotten worse is because of this thing called "The Glass Cliff". So, on the surface, these males are being ‘socially acceptable’ by ‘allowing' women jobs of importance, when actually, the males are just looking for someone else to take a fall in a situation that is doomed to fail, and to probably further exert why males are better suited at high profile roles… Quite disgusting really."
It's no accident that the artwork for the track is a stylised vintage photo, because sexist attitudes are "archaic", says Andrew.
"I really wanted an old historical picture that represented that the modern male is no different to males of history, who we now would consider as sexist," he explains. "A two-faced creep male who obviously thinks he is a gift to women, sitting with two extremely uninterested females. He looks like he can have whichever woman he likes but, in reality, neither of them is interested."
Andrew says his favourite ironic commentary on sexism comes from Alan Partridge, the cringeworthy character created by comic actor Steve Coogan: "He summed it up perfectly when he said: 'I know it is absolutely no longer acceptable to give your spouse a fat lip or a thick ear and it hasn't been acceptable since 1978, even in Scotland'."
"I think a majority of males understand that modern society frowns upon objectifying women, but don’t actually believe it is the wrong thing to do," proposes Andrew. "My opinion is that over the years, society has made some positive steps in how women are treated. However, I think a large proportion of the male population still treat women as objects and items of consumption."
Intox, the debut album by Pacing the Cage, is released on July 27th 2018.
You can learn more about Pacing the Cage here
About the curator: Jon Ewing
After graduating from the University of Keele in England with a degree in Politics and American Studies, Jon worked as editor of a music and entertainment magazine before spending several years as a freelance writer and, with the advent of the internet, a website designer, developer and consultant. He lives in Reading, home to one of the world's most famous and long-running music festivals, which he has attended every year since 1992.