This was a strange little single release by the major label (A&M) affiliated IRS Records. It is a particularly vicious, scorching track and quite prescient as it's turned out (note the map of Afghanistan on the sleeve) what with the recent Blackwater "contractor" scandals. But the weirdest thing about it is that while the label says it's from the "Sabotage/Live" album, it is clearly a studio recording. And this song benefits much from that fact as I think the live album's production is a bit thin. This is loud and punchy, all the better for the rata-tat-tat buildup at the end.
The B-side is probably more famous for Bauhaus's cover version. And while researching this release online I found a comment as to how their version is much better. I like the Bauhaus version OK, but this is great, too. On the record's label there is a disclaimer: "Vocal distortion intended", haha.
Also strange, these songs seem to have never been released elsewhere. I checked all the Cale albums from the time, as well as the various "Best Ofs" that have come out. Nada anywhere... please feel free to correct me if I am wrong.
Get this truly great (and rather rare) single HERE.
(If you have trouble with that link try THIS ONE).
01. Mercenaries (Ready for War)
02. Rosegarden Funeral of Sores