I’ve previously had the pleasure of interviewing Otzeki, and so jumped at the chance to review their latest release ‘Angry Fix.’ The track is an excellent example of Otzeki’s switched on and self aware songwriting – hooky enough to get stuck in your head, but with enough depth that repeat listens reveal undiscovered detail and subtlety.
The song hints at personal anxiety in the information age, but never quite puts its finger exactly on the subject matter, keeping the listener guessing. The first line, “I wanna stay indoors, forget the light of day/ Just wanna play movies, escape to a better place” hits the digital native where it hurts – who among us hasn’t spent an entire day in bed, mindlessly browsing the internet, hiding from our problems? Further themes explored include the commodification of one’s one life via social media and the inevitable toll that that prerequisite and never-ending personal branding takes on our psyches. I wonder if this is the “bloody core” that Mike is talking about in the chorus refrain.
Melodically speaking, the chorus is an absolute ear-worm and the arrangement exploits this maximally – verses are kept short and minimally adorned with just bass and drums, leaving all the harmonic space for the strong melody of the chorus. The slow introduction of additional elements on each successive chorus gives the track a nice sense of development, especially in the final chorus, which is introduced unexpectedly early – before the final line of the bridge is even finished. I wonder if this smart little touch hints at the underlying message of the song – impatience and shortened attention span, and its degrading effect on satisfaction. It’s the kind of self-referential irony I’ve come to expect from Otzeki and I certainly wouldn’t put it past them – except that here it serves to augment the listeners’ satisfaction with the song rather than degrade it!
I would be remiss not to mention the absolutely magnificent video that accompanies this release. Directed by Will Pine, it depicts Mike Sharp being suffocated by a plastic bag that is literally “made out of internet.” It’s an apt metaphor for the song’s message and contains a startling clown-like performance from Sharp as the protagonist, who has been seduced by the endless and insatiable hunger for online reactions.
Do yourself a favour and get yourself an “Angry Fix” of Otzeki and their music right now.
‘Angry Fix’ is taken from Otzeki’s debut album ‘Binary Childhood,’ out now on Discophorus – signed LP bundles can be purchased here.