The ugly sad cry. I’ve been there. You’ve been there. Your mother has been there. Now, Fredericton’s The Olympic Symphonium have just gone there in the most unabashedly public display possible. The band reduce themselves to a blubbering mess in their new video ‘Comedy’.
We’ve struck a visceral chord here. Mirroring Father John Misty‘s similarly titled ‘Pure Comedy,’ an equally unhumorous epitaph on society, The Olympic Symphonium have tackled the idea of political correctness in our contemporary climate. Where we exist in a state of being perpetually offended while simultaneously discovering ourselves almost universally guilty of offensive acts, the margins of comedy are in an apparent state of erosion.
“It’s about lack of respect. It’s about the thickness of skin. It’s about timing. It’s about comedy. What’s the joke and who’s the joker? I’ve looked at jokes from both sides now,” explains songwriter Nick Cobham.
No laughing matter, the band took things into their own hands with the self-directed and produced video. For $40, they pulled together the collaborative piece with Fredericton-based filmmaker F. Chris Giles. But when it came time to get serious, the band enlisted friend Patrick Lewis, a local chef who also plays keyboards on the album, to prepare a spicy dish that could bring the band to tears.
Here’s how the band fared.
Kyle Cunjak: Obviously the weakest link in the band. Cunjak is a mess before even getting on camera. He’s gone full-blown tear-streaked snot-eruption. It looks like his pores even are weeping over the self-inflicted desecration of his bodily temple. Bonus points for hitting the bottle hard. What a trooper!
Patrick Lewis: This full-time chef and part-time keyboardist surprises us. As the man who mixed the batch up, you’d imagine he knew what he was getting into.
Nick Cobham: Respectable showing from Cobham. He’s clearly seen to be struggling, and even seems to suffering from a half-halted involuntary post-pepper farmer’s blow. Cobham looks as though he’s trapped somewhere between shock and discombobulation. Better luck next time, Cobham!
Dennis Goodwin: Teary-eyed but maintaining his composure, Goodwin gives a stalwart performance. He has accepted his fate, but is determined not to give up without a fight. He was probably the one to put Lewis up to it in the first place.
Graeme Walker: Walker throws us a curveball. He almost seems to enjoy it, or would if it weren’t fuelling his internal rage engine. That fiery little spice ball has only added to the barely-concealed inferno roiling away under Walker’s façade. Unlike his bandmates, who are completely overcome with the spice, Walker instead struggles to maintain his composure over his disappointment in the unexpectedly peppery meal.
The Olympic Symphonium’s new album, Beauty In The Tension, which the band refer to as the result of rural isolation, small comforts and the discovery of two pairs of Dark Side Of The Moon pyjama pants, is due out next month on February 9th, 2018, via Forward Music Group.