Boy, do we have a story for you about “Mrs. Arnold,” the new song from Oakland punks Kicker (featuring members of Neurosis, Operation Ivy and Dystopia).
“‘Mrs. Arnold’ is based on a true story about our singer Pete’s math teacher in the ’70s, at the primary school he attended in Wiltshire, England,” Kicker write to Decibel in an email. “She was a cruel and abusive teacher to the students, and Pete often found himself at the receiving end of her lashings or locked in a cupboard a number of times as punishment. A few years later she went to prison for axe murdering the wife and child of a fellow teacher she was having an affair with. More info on the tale can be found here.”
It’s true; in 1986, Heather Arnold murdered Jeanne Sutcliffe and her eight-month-old daughter. She was sentenced to life in prison less than a year later.
Kicker’s take on the situation is a tongue-in-cheek punk song taking influence from the likes of Crass and early SST bands, with lyrics written from Arnold’s point of view. You can listen to the irreverent track below; it hails from their upcoming album Pure Drivel (can you tell the singer’s British yet?), out February 8 on Tankcrimes.