This was Jester’s final NZ On Air-funded video. “Enemy” is a crunchy rock song (a change from the gentle “Fries With That”, but its main riff is rather reminiscent of the intro of “Plush” by Stone Temple Pilots. I don’t like unexpected wormholes into the ’90s.
The band themselves are absent from this video, replaced by animated robots. “Enemy” takes place in a dystopian robot world where a robot scientist has made an experimental rock band. It’s not such a flash build – eight-ball stands in for one of the lead singer’s robo-eyes. The eight-ball starts off the video on a journey seemingly inspired by the groovy pinballs of the Sesame Street counting song.
This roboband proves a hit, with their songs lighting up the hit song meter and causing a media fuss (in this robot world, there are still newspapers). But it’s all too much for these metallic musicians. Like a real band, they burn out – but that’s literal burn-out, falling apart and exploding in front of the horrified scientists.
It’s chaos. The roboband runs wild, creating havoc. I’m sure it’s some sort of statement about manufactured pop, about how put-together bands will never last. Except Jester themselves broke up in 2003, with a final gig that didn’t involve exploding robots.
The animation is of average quality. It’s not the worst-case scenarios of a half-finished mess, but there are lots of short cuts and scenes with little movement.
All the drama is concluded when a scientist pulls the plug on the roboband. The screen goes blank and the message “Support NZ music” appears along with Jester’s (now defunct) website address. It’s lazy to expect people will support New Zealand music just out of national loyalty. First the music and the band have to be good.
Best bit: the “Cuss 2000” device, fitted to bleep out the song’s one swear word.
Next… hair acting.