Ok Go - White Knuckles Single Review
Out Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky, the album from which White Knuckles is taken, was released in February this year to a generally positive reception. It was subsequently re-released in April (After the band split from EMI/Capitol) and is shortly to be reissued again as an 'Extra Nice Edition'. The video to accompany this single release was put on-line a week earlier than the single itself on September 20th. It was also premiered on the Ellen Degeneres Show as well as a performance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, so chances are you've either heard it or seen it. In just 1 week 3.5Million viewers have seen the 'Dog-A-Mid' choreographed routine on You Tube alone. The 12 dogs and 4 band members, plus upside down bins, tables and chairs only required a 124 takes to get the final shot right!
Ok Go are as infamous for their videos as for their music, if anything slightly more so. Their treadmill routine is still going strong with more than 50Million hits in the bag. Does that translate in anyway into musical credibility or even sales? They may be one of the most watched bands in the world but so far that has not meant they have become one of the most listened to bands in the world.
The well meaning quartet from LA, via Chicago, are even supporting animal welfare as part of the video message, OkGo.Net/Dogs if you're interested. Embarking on a tour from October 14th onwards the Ok Go tour promises as much performance art as straight forward song replication. The release of White Knuckles serves as a kind of reminder, a wake up call to the qualities and enjoyment to be had from their rather special talents. They are encouraging any budding remix artists to take the track and run with it, to give it an individuality and difference, the best of which they are posting on their own web sire each week, through to October 14th, until an ultimate winner is chosen.
The single itself is brim full of Prince Rogers Nelson key signature touches. The affected vocal. The higher layered backing vocals. The dirty/sexy bass lines and the funky very upbeat danceable arrangement. The occasional screaming guitar solo and 80' keyboards all combining to produce a great piece of unadulterated pure pop. The remixes, available with the current single, do little to add value. They may be favourable for the dance tent or club environment but as individual tracks they don't improve on the original. The vocal treatments and synth work on the Neill Voss remix do at least take the track in a slightly different direction whilst Sam Sparro only seems to have filtered out all that made the track great in the first place!
White Knuckles by Ok Go. If you do nothing else check out the video, Barbara Woodhouse would have been very proud, and the song's not bad either.