Smith Street Band versus Abbott's 'punchable face'

January 19, 2015
Artwork on The Smith Street Band's new single 'Wipe That Shit-Eating Grin Off Your Punchable Face'.

“Australia's probably never had a PM this bad,” Wil Wagner, frontman of Melbourne's Smith Street Band, told Faster Louder on January 13.

Wagner was explaining his band's latest single, succinctly titled “Wipe That Shit-Eating Grin Off Your Punchable Face” and released with artwork featuring the prime minister looking extra punchable with an especially shit-eating grin.

The song, according to, is “a scathing attack on the Australian government’s treatment of asylum seekers”.

Wagner told Faster Louder: “Even in the last few years there’s kind of a racist undertone, and it’s a question now I guess, are Australians racist because of Tony Abbott, or do Australians vote in Tony Abbott because they’re racist?

“There’s a sleazy and racist undertone to a lot of Australia that just doesn’t seem to exist anywhere else in the world, really. And knowing that half of Australia gets the Herald Sun ... it’s fucked. It’s brainwashing. It’s terrifying.”

On how to respond, Wagner said: “If there was ever going to be a viable left, and people were going to properly kick off about stuff, then this is the time they’re going to do it.”

Putting their money where their politics are, The Smith Street Band and their label, Poison City Records, will donate 100% of all digital sales (available here) of the single until the end of February to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC).

The band will also play a fundraising show on January 26 at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne, with funds going to ASRC, the Refugee Council of Australia and Oxfam. Visit the band's website for more details.

Like the article? Subscribe to Green Left now! You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

You need Green Left, and we need you!

Green Left is funded by contributions from readers and supporters. Help us reach our funding target.

Make a One-off Donation or choose from one of our Monthly Donation options.

Become a supporter to get the digital edition for $5 per month or the print edition for $10 per month. One-time payment options are available.

You can also call 1800 634 206 to make a donation or to become a supporter. Thank you.