Semi Lemon Kola “Otherwise”

1995-semi-lemon-kola-otherwiseSemi Lemon Kola had perfected the contemporary grunge rock sound of the mid-’90s. “Otherwise” absolutely sounds like an artefact of this era and even though I don’t think I’ve heard the song before, it takes me back to this era.

The video starts with an angel, a woman serenely posing with wings and looking very Catholic. There’s footage of a church, but we quickly get straight to the band. The video is shot in black and white with lots of dramatic shadows of window frames, like they’re the indoor variety angsty teen.

The action is cut very rapidly, with the only moments of reflection being given to the angel. It’s like she’s there as the calm centre of the crazy “Otherwise” universe. But despite her presence, things get even crazier as the song ramps us. Near the end, the video bursts into colour, with shots of the band performing live. It’s a manic ending, far removed from the chilled out world of the angel.

I get the feeling this song would have done quite well on Channel Z, the alterno rock radio station of the era. It’s so ’90s that I can’t quite take it on its own terms. It feels old.

Best bit: the angel’s ’90s bob.

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

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