With the release of 2010’s Romanticism, 2012’s Revisionist, 2014’s A Little Help EP and 2015’s Midnight Century, the Toronto-based post-punk act The Black Fever — Shoe (vocals, guitar), Pat Bramm (bass, backing vocals) and Dan Purpura (drums) — have firmly established a sleek and propulsive take on post punk that focuses on melody and concise songwriting.
Recorded over two intense and breakneck recording sessions, their Ian Gomes-produced EP Unarticulated Wants was released earlier this year, and the EP’s first single is the hook-driven, Editors meets Radio 4-like “Marketing.” Centered around a propulsive and angular bass line, thunderous drumming and Shoe’s plaintive vocals, the track seethes with frustration over the fact that every single moment of daily life is inundated with advertisements. It’s inescapable and oppressive manipulation to convince you to spend early and often on that new shiny thing that will make you more attractive and more interesting to others, that will help you lose weight, restore your receding hair line, keep your erection, and just make you feel whole. And yet, there’s a gnawing emptiness that can’t be resolved by possessions or by spending.
“We need to find a better balance between ads and public art — for art’s sake.” the band said in an emailed statement. Naturally, the song expresses a concern over what the over saturation of advertising and marketing messages does to the human soul and mind.
The recently released video for “Marketing” is centered around incredibly manipulative stock footage of old commercials. Although the context for each commercial has been removed, each commercial is meant to make you feel something — envy, pleasure, lust. hunger, despair, all in the desperate attempt to get you to buy right now. And it should feel infuriating and fucked up.