SYN REVIEWS: Superorganism



Words by Jordan Fennell.

Every so often, as the packed beanie wearing crowd waits for Superorganism to play at 170 Russell, a couple of whales float past the earth rotating on the screen behind the stage. It’s a bit absurd and a bit delightful. The band sees the whale as a spirit that is journeying through the internet and their music is a reflection of that filled with memes, explosive synths, and a lyrical self critiquing look at the online age.

They come out on stage in multi coloured raincoats, tambourines with streamers, and eighteen year old lead singer Orono Noguchi with a story about how the night before at Splendour the crowd made her do a shoey and under no circumstances would she do one tonight! Almost immediately the crowd accepts her challenge and a guy offers her a shoe which she declines. The display behind them lights up in a kaleidoscope of colours and they launch into their charmingly hazy single ‘It’s All Good’. It’s a slow warm up with the precision of their songs (the burbling noises! The wet crackles!) and the aural texture getting lost in the speakers and melding into one fuzzy sound. When the song finishes Orono mumbles into the microphone something about loving Melbourne and I get the feeling that I’ve rocked up at a very fun yet slightly disorganised house gig.

The band is both overwhelming and subdued at the same time.The back up singers, Seoul, Ruby, and B, in their colourful outfits and with their doo wap moves are drowned out by the montages of cats and lasers on the screen behind. Noguchi’s voice is like a decoration hung on the bizarro Christmas tree that is their music. Nonetheless my sense are in overdrive as I move with the crowd and take in layer after layer of sound.

It’s mid way through the set that with the banging intergalactic chorus of ‘SPRORGNSM’ the crowd finally loses itself in the music. It’s euphoric pounding beat has everyone bopping and it’s almost religious as everyone sways and chants “Su-per-orga-nism” together. On the last line of the song Orono finally takes up an offer of a shoe, but teasingly, only uses it as a stubby holder for her bottle of cider.

Encores are an expected part of any show but audiences seem to have tired of them. No one really screams for a group to come back because they know they will regardless and will be playing their number one hit. Superorganism, it seems, knows this as well. After smashing out their wonky pop jam ‘Everybody Wants To Be Famous’ Orono tells the crowd “One sec, I’ll be right back for the encore” and rushes off stage. She comes back with a polaroid camera. A familiar beat kicks in as they launch into their fizzy hit ‘Something for your M.I.N.D”. It’s the song everyone has been waiting for and the band delivers… right up until Orono forgets the lyrics while trying to make the polaroid camera work. “I was trying to take a photo of me doing a shoey with the crowd!” She shouts. It’s a charming hiccup in an otherwise thoroughly entertaining set.