As any 20 something living on their own knows, the most valuable item you can have in your shitty apartment is a microwave. You can use milk crates for a bed frame and steal the neighbour’s wifi, but when it comes to matters of conveniently heating up your sub-standard pasta dinners for the next week nothing holds a candle to the microwave. If Skynet put computers in those things then the machines have already won. But what if you were addicted to your microwave? The results of such an obsession can be fatal, as we have learned from witnessing the horror of SM Jenkins‘ video for Mikrowave.
What happens when one young man devotes his life to a kitchen appliance? It can be as disastrous as SM Jenkins’ fab DIY video for Mikrowave.
Now if the name SM Jenkins rings a bell then you’d be inclined to believe that this is the work of Pavement front man Stephen Malkmus, SM Jenkins being the pseudonym he used on the cover of the band’s Wowee Zowee album. However this is the solo project of a front man who lives a little closer to home; Step-Panther’s Steve Bourke. The SM Jenkins project came together following Step-Panther’s whirlwind 2015 which saw their album Strange But Nice released through Burger Records and a spot on the coveted CMJ lineup. Mikrowave is the first cut from Bourke’s solo debut Out There In The Zone. It’s a lo-fi cruiser that sits in second gear and happily stays there.
The video was directed by Brett Randall and follows a green, glitter haired Bourke as he indulges in his twisted microwave obsession. Teapots, pegs, avocados, nothing is safe from his need to warp and melt. The final verse speaks to the vulnerable mind of the protagonist as if the appliance is more than just a machine. “Mikrowave / Glowing and humming in the middle of the night / I feel safe / Sitting in the crossfire / Of the warm radioactive light” shows us a man searching for a place in the world, but ultimately choosing to reside in the only pace he knows.
Mikrowave is shot in true DIY fashion. There are two types of these; the charmingly brilliant kind and the kind that are so garbage they melt your face off Raiders of the Lost Ark style. This is thankfully the former. Close-ups are used to good effect to capture the loneley obsession plaguing our hero, contrasting nicely with the manic hand held work when (SPOILERS) the microwave finally turns on our green haired friend. “Et tu, microwave?”
Out There In The Zone is scheduled for release at the end of the month, and you can bet we’re keen as to hear what the six-track has in store.