Long has Blur’s riotous “Charmless Man” served as a much parodied and despised character study of morally bankrupt individuals ruled by nepotism (we all know one – or three). But one band who are putting their own spin on it are electronic-punk provocateurs Otzeki – comprised of cousins Mike Sharp and Joel Roberts – with “Max Wells-Demon” – which riffs on the iconic Blur track, this time from the point of view of the charmless man himself.
Sloppy acid synths open the single with reverberating and sinister basslines pushing the tempo along, before piercing falsetto vocals raise hairs everywhere.
“The lyrics for our album ‘Now is a long time’ centre around a character called ‘Max Wells-Demon’ and I wanted to somehow convey this character through a cinematic lens,” explains Otzeki.
“Max is a flawed idealist and it felt fitting to show his vulnerability by placing him in the middle of nowhere, in the dead of night surrounded by cars as if he’d been arrested by some kind of cult or dystopian nightmare. In spite of the original inspiration behind the video we’re also a live band and were being encouraged by our label to make a live video for the folks at home unable to attend shows. So we took this initial idea to Sonder who helped us adapt our vision into a performance video but keeping the cinematic feel.
When it came to shooting, it was was blisteringly cold, the sound of the drone filtered into the mic, my fingers were as stiff as icicles, and Joel (from Otzeki) was having to fend of pneumonia with regular trips to warm up inside his car, so we had a lot of patching up to do in the edit! To save the raw live performance we morphed the footage into performance music video instead to get the best of both worlds. So it’s also just one giant happy mistake!”
Watch the music video for “Max Wells-Demon” below…