What would an extra-terrestrial visitor to our strange world make of the bizarre and boozed up environ of the fabled smoking area? A question not many of us dare not to ask but one Operation Ivan has dived into with great skill and due diligence. This post-punk passion project seeks to document the stranger side of human history and achievement with witty irreverent lyricism and ridiculously groovy rhythms.
The track begins with this sparklingly sunny serenade on the guitar. It spangles, it jangles, it sets the mood for the song perfectly. This is music that is fully intent on having fun, this is achieved both in the instrumentation and the lyrics in equal measure. The strings are soon joined by some cowbell, sexy synths, and then the Talking Heads-esque punk poetry vocals.
The lyricism and cuttingly sharp storytelling that lies at the heart of the track is as unique as it is delightfully enjoyable. The song charts the misery and confusion inflicted on the casual or passive observer while passing through the obnoxious fumes that emanate not necessarily from the smoking itself but the bullshit spewed from the mouth of the average smoker.
Revelling in the absurdity of the concept and diving into narrative this song writing is a pure pleasure to listen to. Punk is at its best when it lifts up a magnifying glass to society with sardonic wit and no tolerance whatsoever for the mainstream or moronic.
Without diving in too deep to the lyrics the song more than stands on its own just for the sheer unrestrained bop of it. It’s a funky little tune with a great deal of care and thought put into making the track meet and match the lyrical content its there to deliver.
Operation Ivan want to deliver stories of humanity, humans, and human behaviour that doesn’t often make it in the mainstream consciousness. It does this through a delightfully quirky lens that serves up songs that tickle the ear and the funny bone while also managing to get you to move your feet. It’s pretty impressive actually.
Words by Matt Miles.