Sunday, 13 October 2013

Remake/Remodel #5: ONJ's Physical

Now, how can anyone forget THAT video? Sooo 80s.

The absolute nadir of 80s pop. In hindsight we can look back and think "what the hell...???" but back then this thing was bigger than Texas. I wonder how many people were inspired to take out gym memberships because of this clip?

And don't let all the vibrating arse cheeks, leotards and legwarmers fool you: this is not a song about exercise. Well it is, kinda...if you count that sort of thing as exercise, which I guess you could. You know what I'm on about, surely.

Funnily enough, it's not often you hear a cover version of it. Much less by a band that takes its cues from a band like Pavement. However, Dollar Bar, indie rockers from Brisbane Australia have taken this synth-ey 80s come-on, seemingly stripped the glamour out of it and made it sound dangerous, dirty and, well, to some ears anyway, downright creepy! It's quite hard to describe Dale's vocal delivery on the Dollar Bar track, whether he's playing the desperate and socially inept nerd looking for an elusive bit of action, or whether he's dispiritedly and nonchalantly making a play without really expecting any positive result.

There's something strangely warm and attractive about our Livvy's delivery in the original, but it also kind of reeks of tacky, overpriced nightclubs where the beautiful people hang out (read: NOT ME!!!). Dollar Bar sounds like they're trying to pick up at a LAN-party hosted by Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory.

In my view, there's something oddly compelling about Dollar Bar's version that sets it above ONJ's version, but largely because I'm kinda over the cheesiness of the original...and I've personally heard it too many times in my lifetime to be truly objective. I approve of the redone treatment.

Take a listen to both below. Which do you prefer?

The original:

Dollar Bar's cover, from their Bandcamp page:

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