August 2009: Misfits of Science, Nesian Mystik, Opensouls, P-Money, Pistol Youth, PNC

Bound in streetwear, the boys go to work, murderation, four corners of the globe, and an ordinary life.

Continue reading August 2009: Misfits of Science, Nesian Mystik, Opensouls, P-Money, Pistol Youth, PNC

December 2006: Misfits of Science, Mr Boinkin and the Kurnel MC, Pete Fountain, PNC, Sarah Brown, Stylus

The Misfits get touchy, swingin’ in suits, playing with Lego, 20th century dress-ups, a last supper, and a red dinosaur.
Continue reading December 2006: Misfits of Science, Mr Boinkin and the Kurnel MC, Pete Fountain, PNC, Sarah Brown, Stylus

April 2006: Misfits of Science, My Life Story, Opshop, Stellar, The Electric Confectionaires

Jason’s in Sydney, Boh’s in Auckland, Andy’s in London, the Misfits are all around the world, and there’s a book.
Continue reading April 2006: Misfits of Science, My Life Story, Opshop, Stellar, The Electric Confectionaires

Misfits of Science “Chemical Madness”

2005-misfits-of-science-chemical-madnessMisfits of Science seem like the kind of band who has been buoyed along by their one bona fide hit single, “Fools Love”. Nothing they have done since has been as good, but they’re still there, still making music.

Like their previous videos, “Chemical Madness” involves digital trickery. This time the Misfits have been shrunken down and are hanging out amongst the balls on a pool table. (Judging by the red and yellow balls, it’s a game of blackball, a British variant of eight-ball, though the sky-blue baise is more an American style. And yes, five minutes ago I did not know this.)

Obviously the balls have to move. The balls have to chase the rappers around the table. And this happens. The problem is the computer animation isn’t all that great. The balls are too perfectly spherical and they move without friction. If this was made using 2014 technology, each of the balls would be different, with its own personality, its own backstory. But the technology of 2005 makes it look like looks like a sci-fi attack of the 5cm cyber Jaffas and their albino Jaffa cousins.

Quirky semi-animated videos seem to be the Misfits of Science style, but I’d like to see something a bit different, away from the green screen, into the real world.

Best bit: the two Misfits being chased by a giant yellow ball, Indiana Jones style.

Next… the mystery of the lady who said ‘hey’.

Misfits of Science “Mmmhmm”

2004-misfits-of-science-mmmhmmI hate it when this happens. Misfits of Science had a bona fide hit with “Fools Love”. It was the number one single for a month and was just generally a cool tune with a fun video. Then along comes the follow-up single “MmmHmmm” and it’s… disappointing.

After a minute-long introduction, which involves a woman (well, a man in a wig) repeatedly being stabbed in a mock horror movie, the song starts. It’s all about going to the club (the song references 50 Cent’s “In Da Club”) and partying.

That in itself is perfectly ordinary, but the partially animated video makes the unpleasant choice of using women’s bodies as decoration. There’s a line of women dancing on the bar top. We can’t see their heads, which suggests the video doesn’t care about their identity as individuals. All that matters is having some legs and boobs dancing about. Worse still are the other headless women bending over in front of the camera, thrusting their bums or crotches in front of the camera. And – oh – there’s an animated beaver over one woman’s crotch.

In 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” video, his club-going shorties looked like they were enjoying themselves and were into him. This video seems like a teenage boy’s idea of what sex might be like. The dudes have no idea how to interact with actual hot babes so the video has to reduce the women to body parts. Boobs are simple; brains are hard.

It just makes me think that, actually, the Misfits of Science would have been really rubbish to go to a club with. But then, considering the song has an entire verse about a malodorous toilet experience, they’re not even trying to pimp themselves. Perhaps the only people they’re trying to impress are 13-year-old boys.

Best bit: the chicken right at the beginning, before the video starts to suck.

Director: Ed Davis
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… the markets revisited.

Misfits of Science “Fools Love”

2003-misfits-of-science-fools-loveIt’s strange to realise that this song was a one-hit wonder for the Misfits of Science. At the time it seemed like a natural part of the incredibly successful period of number-one singles by New Zealand artists – mostly hip hop – in 2003 and 2004, and with no sign that it was to be a one-off for the group. But as Duncan Greive notes at Audio Culture, the charts “started to resemble a rap version of the then-recent dotcom bubble. That is, any old crew with a semi-plausible single could have a hit.”

“Fools Love” was a good song, but there was nothing very New Zealand about it. While other New Zealand hip hop artists made songs that were firmly rooted in Aotearoa, “Fools Love” sounds like it could have come from anywhere. The video continues with this rootlessness. In fact the only thing that makes it identifiably New Zealand is the NZ On Air logo.

But it’s still a fun video. Directed by Shane Mason and Mark Trethewey, the video takes the Misfits crew and makes their heads big and/or their bodies small. For a song that’s all about mocking bling culture, this animated style keeps it light and doesn’t drag the song down into a massive diss track.

The background is a collage of skyscrapers, limousines, booty girls and all the other trappings of hip hop culture at the time. The end result is a stylish and fun video that surely contributed to the song’s four-week run at number one.

Best bit: the heads down, shoulder-dirt-brushing intro.

Director: Mark Trethewey, Shane Mason
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… instead the sweaty box.