I imagine most of us have thought of it – the end. What it would be like, how much say you’d have in your final moments, or if it’d be dragged out for hours, days, weeks, or more as climates irreversibly change, malaise fills the air, and white noise turns to skull-rattling destruction and cries. So much of our popular media deals with apocalypse as a theme or setting, so it’s no wonder that music also finds its inspiration in what is surely one of the worst thoughts you could think.

OK WAIT (FKA Sonic Black Holes) are from Hamburg, Germany and we’re well acquainted at this point with Gary on our team drafting up a glowing review for their album WELL last year. This year, we got SIGNAL to look forward to, a new album coming June 30 with the help of Golden Antenna Records (the beautifully striking artwork for it showcased below the video). Today, we are happy to premiere their latest work, “HORSES”, accompanied by a video that’ll prove to complement the song’s unsettling nature. Let’s talk about it down below.

OK WAIT are what I like to call gritty post-rock. It’s not a perfect descriptor and you won’t find one for them as they fold post-rock, sludge, prog, and more into their layers of sound. There’s a tremendous amount of heft in this instrumental project, not unlike Russian Circles or similar bands. “HORSES” as a song is a great encapsulation of their attitude as well as their animal it’s named after – it’s dark and weighty, but always carries a tune with discernable melodies and locomotive rhythms like a slow-motion gallop, far from the unhinged approach many bands that lean on the heavier side of the sonic spectrum employ.

The video for the track is built from stitched-together clips of old public domain films to form a loose narrative, one that progressively gets more disturbing without treading into outright violence or other explicitness. It’s all implied – an ominous car ride, kids diving to safety from an unseen threat (though the flashes of light imply it’s nuclear in nature). It shows the whiplash-inducing tonal change that comes with unexpected ends coupled with creeping shots of things you can label individually, but perplex in totality in the context of the clip. This makes the dense and rollicking music soundtracking this Frankenstein’s monster of a video hit harder as both of your senses are brought to uneasy, perhaps even anxious places.

Even more off-putting is the use of AI to ‘script’ the video’s characters. ChatGPT was used to conjure up a surrealist exchange between our two men in a car, one acting as a paranoid harbinger of the end times, the other unaware of it all and doesn’t even know what horses are when they’re referenced. This isn’t played for a laugh – it plays to the theme of things falling apart around you, where your peers don’t even know what you’re talking about, even things that should be extremely common knowledge for a grown adult. Are you hallucinating? Is there’s a disconnect between you and the rest of the world, exposing the wiring of a dying simulation underneath it all? I don’t believe in the ‘life is a simulation’ theory, but I could see some subtext of that in this video and its script. Regardless, the use of AI alone is enough for some people to cry ‘apocalypse’.

OK WAIT‘s name is pretty appropriate here because, well, now we have to wait for more. Again, June 30 is the day we see SIGNAL drop and if this song is any indication, we can expect it to be a lovingly crafted, thematically dense piece of music, something tough for a vocalless band to pull off. You can preorder the album through this handy link. You can wait in good company with the band over on their Facebook and Instagram. Check out WELL over on Bandcamp in the meantime, and maybe make good headway on your apocalypse gameplan. You never know what will happen after all.

Band photo by OK WAIT

David Rodriguez

David Rodriguez

"I came up and so could you, and fuck the boys in blue" - RMR

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