Some bands are talented and make good music, while others have to resort to silly gimmicks in order to get attention. In which category would you guess Satanic Dagga Orgy, the “Acousticore Polk Funk” band from Joburg who loves playing shows in speedos, belong? Their new EP, The Prawn Awakens, prompted an investigation…
Except these guys are pretty good. Bright acoustics, on-point but humble, earnest-sounding vocal delivery, brought together in a rounded and balanced arrangement that sounds surprisingly polished for a band that often seems quite DIY and rough-around-the-edges. Their previous release, for example, while still impressively clear and relatively balanced, has a definite home studio aesthetic that The Prawn Awakens has surpassed.
The Prawn Awakens has a unique and topical sense of humour throughout. With silly, borderline-immature jokes like “I’m Homo for Naledi,” and a Kanye-referencing track called “Kan Jy Best?” But while it may seem like something you’d find grafitti’d on a bathroom wall, the Orgy treats it with a optimistic ‘maturity’. The lyrics are filled with upbeat, spread-the-love type phrases like “believe in yourself – you burn more brightly than you know,” and the meta-textual self-defining “Satanic Dagga Orgy is the only gang for me”.
Similarly, it genuinely sounds like they’re smiling while singing. The performances and arrangements on The Prawn Awakens exude a hopeful confidence – the kind of silver lining point-of-view that South Africans can surely use some of right now.
“Believe in yourself and the goodness of your fellow man” – Believe in Yourself
I know this is a clichéd statement to make, but The Prawn Awakens’ biggest flaw is that it’s not long enough. More please, Satanic Dagga Orgy! The whole thing is about 15 minutes long, which makes it a very decent offering in a quality-over-quantity sense. But the quality and entertainment value could definitely have sustained a full-length album. Let’s hope the Prawn is with them, and there are still 7 episodes and an endless string of spin-offs to come.
The Prawn Awakens, the new EP by Satanic Dagga Orgy, is being released on Friday with a launch show at Rumours Rock City, and will be on Bandcamp as a free download afterwards. If you just can’t wait, get a sneak preview at the listening party at The Shadowboxer in Greenside, JHB, tonight!