Connected, but lonely – that largely sums up the epidemic of loneliness that’s crushing Australian society, given that it’s our digital generation, the 18-25 year olds, who identify as feeling the most alone. Digital, text-based correspondence might be fast and easy, but sans the body language, tone variations and eye contact, it’s certainly no replacement for its IRL counterpart. That sentiment is at the heart of ‘Disconnected’, the new single from Melbourne melodic punk ensemble, Judo CHOP!
Featuring barrelling riffage, blistering hardcore drums and powerful vocals, ‘Disconnected’ is a sonic assault with plenty of brainpower behind it. With structures and time signatures bordering on prog, it’s a song written by a band who clearly know their way around their instruments. Lyrically, the song dissects the existential threat that technology poses to genuine human interaction, siloing us away from our fellow human beings. In their own words: “An antithetical anthem for today’s dualistic, tribalist society.”
There’s a lot to unpack with this subject. On average, we speak 125 words per minute and we think about 500 words per minute, but the average person can only type 30 words per minute. That’s a lot of excess communication left unexpressed. With that in mind, ‘Disconnected’ is also a song about bridging gaps in more ways than one. For the official clip, the band have incorporated Auslan (Australian sign language). In a statement to BLUNT, Judo CHOP! explained that this level of inclusion was a vital priority for the release.
“The use of Auslan in the ‘Disconnected’ clip was very important to us, not only because of the context of the song itself which talks to the lack of communication in our current social discourse, but the close personal effects of its under-utilisation everywhere. Our guitarist Johnny Beech, who performs the outro in Auslan, was raised in a household with two Deaf parents himself and when it came to signing the outro of the song, Johnny sought clarification and reference from the Deaf community/interpreters to ensure the translation and context were correct. We’ve also added closed captions to the film clip for the Deaf and hard of hearing (that can be turned on and off) to provide full access to the lyrical content and information, as well as a guide for karaoke when you’re belting this one out at your next party!
“We live in language and any barrier to it for anyone puts them at a disadvantage, be it in song, or text, or wherever that information lies. The poetry and significance of messaging in lyrical music compositions are taken for granted by those of us who are not hard of hearing or Deaf when we are hooked by the rhythm or melody of a tune and that grabs our attention first, whereas the Deaf community may not otherwise hear the messaging in ours or anyone else’s music unless we put it there for them to interpret.”
The single will be reborn later in the year upon the band’s debut EP Shelf Life, which hits shelves on Friday, 2nd July via punk rock trendsetters People Of Punk Rock Records.