Otherwise’s “Soldiers” Gets A Video After Surging Up SIRIUS Charts – We Say, “Seriously? Otherwise?”

Now I know Otherwise are being touted as a “next big thing” in the States; I’ve read that “Soldiers” has been played at the graduation ceremonies of Army Engineers and that Fox News once called Otherwise the Number 1 unsigned band in America. Then again, being lauded by Fox News (who recently ripped apart the new Muppets movie for being too liberal) may not be a good thing – just sayin’.

Opening with the legend, “For the warriors who fight and die… so the rest of us may fight to Live” we’re shown shots of American citizens looking mean while Adrian Patrick sings about this being a perfect day to die; it’s like an episode of Star Trek and the Klingon commander has ordered an attack on the Enterprise, however, we’re not shown space battles, just two ambulance men and a fireman, presumably apt images for the lyric. Hold on, a dude in a pawn shop? A lady standing behind a bar, a guy working in a coffee shop, and a carpenter? Possibly dangerous, but hardly wiping blood out of our eyes, which Patrick is singing about at this point.

otherwise-soldiers

“Soldiers” is designed to be an anthem. It’s written to draw out the last chorus as a massive sing-along as a set closer. It’s about “Proud to be American” and “There’s a war going on, we’re all fighting it.” As far as I’m concerned it falls flat, even if the single was released on 9-11-11. The song brings back horrible memories of the Creed, Papa Roach, and Puddle of Mudd rock scene from the early aughts. Adrian Patrick has a great voice, the whole band are talented musicians, and some of their tunes are pretty decent: “Lighthouse” has a cool Eastern vibe and is stronger than “Soldiers,” but I’m not convinced on any level. I feel there’s a really good band in there dying to get out.

Researching this band I hit play on their MySpace player and let it go for an hour. I only stopped when I heard a woman’s vocal (was Avril Lavigne’s new track). I flipped back to the MySpace player and the last five bands I’d listened to were not Otherwise, but rather tunes by different artists.

This genre of hard rock made massive waves back in the early aughts, sort of 9.5 parts Nickelback, 0.5 part Slayer, a slightly heavier hard rock designed to appeal to the same target audience as the Transformers movie, i.e., the biggest, dumbest target audience possible. I wouldn’t be surprised if this song wound up on the next Transformers movie soundtrack, but I can’t see it doing well in any marketplace other than America.

otherwise-soldiers-roller-derby

Coming to a close we’re shown shots of a roller derby team who look tougher than the football players in the next shot, Ryan Patrick beats his chest singing “We stand shoulder to shoulder” and there’s this whole “we’re in this together” vibe, but in what? In low-paying jobs? In school? In a roller derby team about to kick ass? In the gym? What? As a UK outsider I feel alien to the concepts in this video and can only guess at the bigger meaning. The question is: Will the American public like this? Probably. From a UK perspective, is it any good? Hell no.

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  • TadBad

    Who ever said that the English were snobbish pricks? Can’t imagine… Duh, the point is that we all have our own battles to fight every day. They seem small to others but are hurdles to the ones who have to deal with them. You obviously don’t get it. At all. No wonder your puny country’s “empire” is now the size of a small U.S. state. No matter how divided we can be or the battles we fight within our own country, in the end we would all stand together. This is why all of our ancestors risked everything to come here, passing that mindset onto us…and yours decided to play it safe and stay there…

  • Evil Argento here: First, I AM NOT the author of this review. Second, I am American. Third, I was a soldier in the U.S. Army for three active years. Fourth, Big Pirate Jim no longer writes for Yell! Magazine.

    I can’t believe the community here. I’m really pleased by the brother/sisterhood I’m seeing and it is humbling to know that so many people can come together to show their support for what they believe in. And what do you believe in? The obvious is this song and this band. The other, slightly less obvious, is the belief in the everyday hero and in yourselves. I applaud you for that (if I can do so without coming across as pretentious), and I’m slightly embarrassed that it all comes from something that we published.

    Admittedly, I don’t like this song. I don’t think any of you will judge me on my preference. I also agreed with Big Pirate Jim when I first read his review. Yes, I got the message of the song (missing it would be like traveling toward a wall in a car at 100 mph and applying the brakes 10 feet from the wall and hoping to stop in time), but I couldn’t look past the representation of a “soldier” in the video, which is the crux of this review.

    Perhaps I missed the larger definition of a soldier because of my experience as an Army Soldier. And that’s probably arrogant. I’d like to thank everyone who has posted here about a single mother, a kid who gets bullied, a firefighter, a teacher, etc., for opening my eyes to the broader definition. I’d also like to apologize to you, readers, for our shortsightedness. We will be more careful in the future.

    Sincerely,
    Evil
    PS, I still don’t like the song… but I have a new found appreciation for the video.

  • Nyk

    I really do not understand the reasoning for this blog. I guess someone feels the need to bash someone that is trying to say something good about and for our country. Otherwise did a very good job of writing this song for the U.S. and performing it. Bash someone that has a reasoning to be bashed, drugs, stealing, lying, cheating, find someone that has done something wrong and make that public. But leave “OTHERWISE” alone. They are a very good group and proud of them!

  • Michelle

    Admittedly, the first time I started watching this video I spent the first thirty seconds or so confused, as you seem to be. In retrospect, I think my confusion stemmed from the hype that this song was getting from the military end. I was expecting men and women from the military and not your everyday citizen. However, it didn’t take long for the bigger meaning to sink in. The alien concept you’re failing to see is explained in that first line, really. “For the warriors who fight and die…so the rest of us may fight to Live.” It’s all about survival. The paramedics, the fireman, the nurse, the guy in the pawn shop, the bartender, the plumber, and every other working person out there is fighting to survive in their own personal battlefield. That’s where the “we’re in this together” vibe comes in. It’s not that people are in low-paying jobs, school, or roller derbies together, it’s that they are surviving together. The song is a reminder that you’re not alone and an inspiration to never give up. When you’re working your ass off and giving life everything you have, but still struggling day to day…never give up. Never stop fighting. The men and women in uniform may be the soldiers for our countries and our people, but we are ALL soldiers for Life.

  • Before i say anyhing, i understand where you are coming from. However, im a proud Canadian, im not a soldier myself, but i come from a line of soldiers, my father was also a firefighter and a paramedic after his service. I think you miss the whole point of this video, at least as i see it. although i think this is a great song for military, i also see it as a song for anyone who sacrifices for others. When you and your collegues, friends whatever, jump into situations without reguard for yourself, simply to help others who are in a bad situation and in harms way, this is a song that honors you for what you have done, or even for just having your buddies back in everyday situations. If you cant understand that then i cant explain how sorry i feel for you, as i feel your life must be painfully empty, or alone. If so my thoughts go out to you.

  • Rob

    I find it ironic that you call the Americans dumb because we would like this video but you are the one kissing the point of the song. While it is great for amping and supporting soldiers of the military role, it was written for the soldiers of the civilian role. Specifically, it was regarding their struggle as a band before being signed. They themselves found as they wrote the song that it was much broader than their own struggles that they were describing and decided to dedicate it to everyone who has to fight to make it by, be it with a gun or just finding the strength that carry on from day to day.

  • Rob

    I have to add, since you mentioned the quite at the beginning of the video. Did you even look at any of the faces of the people in that video? Half of them look like they’re about to cry, namely, the older white haired woman, the man with the mustache after her and the 20 something young man who just finished lifting weights. Those who fought to die so we can fight to live. These people in this video look they are about to break. They have a look of sorrow and emptiness in their eyes that comes with loss. I suppose with the UK playing a more passive role (passive does not mean unimportant, mind you) in the world’s relevant conflicts right now, the author of this article might not know the look on these faces as well as us “dumb Americans,” but it is the look of the family members who are carrying on after their child or parent or friemd took a bullet or an IED in a foreign country and won’t be coming home. I’ve seen the videos of this song with the soldiers wiping bits of their friends off of themselves and blowing things up. The video this author seemed to want to see, while saying it should be in a Transformers movie, and they aren’t as good. They lack the power and emotion that this video has. Maybe they didn’t include guns and blood because they didn’t want people thinking this was a song written to drive a soldier while in battle, but to honor the soldier for his battle.