Look, there's a car on the cover!

A couple weeks ago, Chicago-based alt-rockers OK Go put out their latest born-to-be-wildly-viral video – this time, it’s essentially a commercial for the Chevy Sonic in which the band performs their song “Needing/Getting” while driving a course lined with various musical instruments that are strummed, plucked, banged, plinked, and otherwise crashed into by a seemingly random array of objects attached to the car, thus creating the song’s musical (sorta) accompaniment. Each couple of lines, the music stops as lead singer Damian Kulash frantically steers the car onto the next segment of the course, kicking up a cloud of dust and, oh I don’t know, showing off the Chevy Sonic’s handling against a picturesque landscape. It’s kinda thrilling, I guess, but it isn’t pretty.

“Needing/Getting” (2012)

This sort of thing is what OK Go does these days – spectacular video stunts that do less to promote a song (which, y’know, is what the original point of music videos was) and more to get clicks and likes and shares (and future sponsors). Which is all well and good, I suppose. The band have gone on record as saying that don’t really see themselves strictly as musicians, but more broadly as performers. As musicians, they’re not terribly prolific: “Needing/Getting” is from their 2010 album Of the Blue Colour of the Sky, only the third studio album they’ve released in their decade-plus-long career. By my count, this is sixth song from that album to be used in a video (one was used twice). Their songs, with few exceptions (“Needing/Getting” is not one), range from fairly decent to pretty okay – mostly likeable but generally unmemorable, were it not for, say, that “animations on toast” video (etc.) they did.

OK Go seems to be running into the Lady Gaga problem: what do you do to top the last thing you did to top the thing you did before? Watching “Needing/Getting” made me really miss the band OK Go (as opposed to OK Go, the viral video auteurs), and it made me want to go back and re-acquaint myself with the song that introduced me to these four company-computer-guys turned awesome-semi-rock-star-guys.

Not that there aren’t any visual gimmicks in their debut video “Get Over It” – ping pong ping pong – but the song’s the star of this particular show, and it’s really good fun just to watch these guys bash it out. As far as I’m concerned, those last choruses where it sounds like they hired Def Leppard to sing back-up are more satisfying than anything in the video for “Needing/Getting”. It’s two weeks old, and I’m already over that one. “Get Over It” rocked 10 years ago, and this relatively un-stunty video still does.

“Get Over It” (2002)