Saturday, June 19, 2010


1998.  I received a three song cassette in the mail from Overmars.  (Not to be confused with the metal band of the same name.  This 1998 band appears to no longer exist.)

"Chloe," "Coming Alive" and "The Sun" (a great song title by my mood today) were the songs.  The music was a less aggressive Monster Magnet (without too much of the psychedelic music -- the similarities are in the lyrics mostly) at times, and almost small nightclub metal at others.  If you've heard either and then listened to Overmars, you'd understand. 

"Coming Alive" starts with a laugh and the line, "I want to be beautiful/Like a mushroom cloud."  It is a song about destruction, with a chorus of "I'm coming alive."  The imagery works, however.  "I want to kiss the mouth of a dying star." 

I don't think I realized the brilliance of the band when I first heard it.  Since I've been republishing a lot of my stuff I'm sure I'll eventually come across my initial review.  I doubt it is very favorable, but I've held onto the tape, so that has to say something for it.

I've tried to hunt down the band, and have had zero success.  I wanted to get an update of what the guys were doing, and maybe do an interview.  Maybe hear how it has progressed.

Instead, I am left with this.  A reminder of a band that probably not enough people got into.  I picture the members have gone onto other things.  Most likely not music related, though they may be in bands as a hobby.

If any of the members of Overmars ever read this, I want to thank you.  I've been playing the tape a lot these past few weeks.  It is a moment out of time sound-wise, but the lyrics are perhaps more essential then ever.

"Come to the sun with me."

Friday, June 11, 2010

Affordable Firepower

As I wrote on my Cancerous Zeitgeist blog, Sigue Sigue Sputnik's music was used on ESPN HD commercial to promote the 2010 World Cup.  For me, this combined one of my favorite sports with a band I like that is thoroughly underrated and was, for its time, extremely original and often controversial.

Sigue Sigue Sputnik's output isn't even close to record breaking, but its Flaunt It is a classic.  This 1986 release was its first, and I obtained it on cassette (having to later pass up a vinyl version due to lack of money).  Look at its cover.  How the hell could it fail?  Couple that with songs that referenced voodoo, laser beams, guns and women, and you had a musical experience you could not get elsewhere.  This was no Bruce Springsteen.

Yes, Sigue Sigue Sputnik (which is named after a Russian youth gang and translates to Burn, Burn Satellite) was blatantly commercial (and even had ads between songs on the album), but that only added to its weird appeal. 

Today, the Sigue Sigue Sputnik style of music (heavy guitars and synth, and staccato beats) would barely raise an eyebrow.  That said, if you compare SSS to any other band like that, you can't help but hear that SSS comes across differently.  It has a different sense about it.  It's not the imagery (towering, multi-colored hair; fishnets; robots; machine guns; eye make-up).  It's not the strange lyrics ("Chinese speaking strip TVs").  It's not the song titles ("Orgasm").  It's not the ads ("ID magazine").  It's all those things combined.  It's almost like SSS exists in its own little world.  It makes music for the future ... if that future involved women in bikinis firing missiles at computer guided police helicopters.

I hope the guys were paid well for that commercial.  They sure as hell deserve it.