By Vlad, Rock At Night Detroit
Single Review: Bikini Test Failure’s “Are We Having a Good Time, Yet?”
Manchester’s Bikini Test Failure (the product of James Hill) has long shown a penchant for ironic and playful examination in its pop opuses. (Rock at Night readers might remember our review of the arch “Uncomplimentary” release this spring.)
BTF’s latest release, “Are We Having a Good Time, Yet?”, is actually a re-imagining of a track released a decade earlier. A common refrain in real estate is “Location, location, location.” The corollary to that in pop music should be “Timing, timing, timing,” and Hill’s re-work here cleverly affirms that.
The track is bathed in a baroque, B3-driven production that evokes an earlier time. The new video even shows studio-man-of-many-hats Hill (literally) dusting off his gear from another time. Shades of mid-period Oasis or perhaps “Dark Side of the Floyd”? Perhaps. But how is that noteworthy or inventive?
Ah, that timing thing.
It’s in the context of this ambitious production—the dusting off of old gear—that “Are We Having” delivers its question, albeit one that is beguilingly ambiguous at this point in time. Were the heady days of decadent pop with multi-layered productions really the good old days, now worth yearning for in spartan times? Or, after the shouting is over, do we ask ourselves, “Is That All There Is?”
There isn’t a simple way to decode the question. Take a bow, Mr. Hill…
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