A few years ago VH1 used to broadcast a reality show called Charm School, where the network would round up its various contestants and half-stars from shows like Rock of Love and Flavor of Love and send them away to learn proper social etiquette and technique by people like Sharon Osbourne and Mo’Nique. When Boston new wave group Petty Morals formed in 2012, we always assumed they could form killer cast of a new season of Charm School — if we could ever find someone strong enough to get their attitudes and synths in order.
This morning, any sort of Charm School notion has been turned on its head. The show is off the air, and the ladies of Petty Morals are no longer content with being students. In their new video for “Mean Girls,” a single that’s featured in the new Rock Band: Rivals game, the band is now actually — *gulp* — the educators.
And class is certainly in session.
“I got the idea to write the song after we played a show in Salem,” says singer Tai Heatley. “The 1988 cult classic movie Heathers was playing on a screen behind us and during the show we got into character and addressed the crowd like a bunch of Heathers. I wanted to write a whole conceptual album that focused on the movie but only got as far as this song. Some of the lyrics were written during a ‘Ladies Only’ beach day and pulled from our own experiences with mean women.”
The “Mean Girls” video — directed, filmed, and edited by Greyson Welch of Ketchabrick Productions and Brian Brooks of Moustache Pictures at Watertown’s School of Rock Boston — serves as a commentary on bullying. The Petty Morals crew act as “Evil School Marms” teaching the kids the mechanics of being mean, only to have the students reject their evil teachings.
The story ends like all good stories should — at a Petty Morals show rocking the eff out. Re-live the closing scene tonight as the band christen the video with a release party at O’Brien’s Pub in Allston alongside Shatner and a group called Shitted Wizard (who we are told would appeal to fans of bands that like to battle with shears). Download the track via the Petty Morals Bandcamp and keep the good cause contributions coming, as 50 percent of the proceeds will be donated to Girl Rock Campaign Boston.