While the EP in question had some meaning, within its own narrative at least, primarily the title track, plus a decent surprise courtesy of a random KISS cover, the EP lacked in the overall absurdity that I had familiarised myself with. This brings us to the here and now, and, merely three months later, the duo have returned with yet another brand-new EP entitled “Oxytocin High”. If previous releases are anything to go by, I could do with some drugs to get through this! With that being said, let’s dust off the old walk-man, pop in that cassette tape and hope we remember how to fucking work the damn thing...
We kick things off with the title track, and it’s time to do a little googling; what actually IS oxytocin? Are we about to get off our tits on some, brain-melting, kaleidoscopic hallucinogens? I should be so lucky. It’s actually a hormone produced in the hypothalamus, and known as the “love hormone”, it helps facilitate childbirth and aftercare. It plays a vital role in emotional bonding and, feeling a connection between people...allegedly. I think my brain is out of stock in that department. I digress, the track gets underway with some pulsing electronic notes, and some hushed, autotuned vocals, as Diana asks “Why can’t you be fucking happy?” ...and it’s a good question.
It’s a song about contentment; the idea of chasing a love, or, a bond you may never find; not satisfied, the grass being forever greener on every other side, and needing to realise the quick thrill of that, one moment of passion, lust and wanting, isn’t going to make you happy in the long run. You’ll forever be chasing your next fix, romantically and emotionally, eventually failing to feel satisfaction, and it wonderfully uses our desire for love, comfort, and togetherness as a flaw. It’s a deep song, but it’s balanced by an incredibly light, bubbly, retro synth-pop aesthetic that’s been plucked straight out of the 80’s with a modern dance vibe, and it works.
We follow this up with EP highlight “Aerobic” and while it tonally could easily match ERIC PRYDZ for dirty dance anthem sensuality, I went into this thinking exclusively of Douglas Reynholm conducting secretive sexy dance classes. All of the short-shorts and hip-thrusting going on with this one, getting a proper sweat on by here! The track itself is a lively, pulsing piece of electronica, with up-beat pop vibes aplenty and some clap-along percussion; it’s the kind of track you’d imagine the lad's sniffing ketamine to in Kooler’s in Merthyr Tydfil. I like this.
Next up, we get “Whore On The Floor” and... it’s a little disappointing. On face value, you’d think KIM PETRAS has highjacked the track to continue her slut-pop revolution; dancing her knickers off, bleating her way around the club like the very throat goat she claims she is, but really, it’s a slow, anti-climactic track. The whore might be on the floor, but, she’s out for the count, and you just want to call her a taxi home. Poor girl’s been on her knees all day give her a rest! Other than some minimalist catchy synths, this is incredibly tame by comparison to the aforementioned and I hereby challenge Diana to lyrically out-slut Kim Petras. Maybe even a collaboration? Who knows? Fuck, that’s who...fuck knows.
Last time around we highlighted their KISS cover; "I Was Made For Loving You", which genuinely suited them aesthetically, but here we have another cover to potentially appeal to a wider audience, and it comes in the form of SALT-N-PEPPA classic “Push It”. While it retains a lot of the tracks original 80’s quirkiness, it does come across as more of a medley or, a mash up, with original lyrics and snippets of THE KINKS thrown in for good measure, and to be perfectly honest, it’s better. It’s more of a substantial version, with less filler and it’s not like it’s been musically drawn-out needlessly. Credit where it’s due, they’ve got a knack for picking covers than work for them. The final track then is just a remix of the title track and it’s your typical, generic dance-inspired remix; nothing spectacular whatsoever and nothing worth mulling over.
Overall, it appears that, while there are still subtle nods to some of that aforementioned absurdity, Junksista are slowly but surely taking their ass off the whoopee cushion. Believe me when I say this; the band are maturing, but I don’t mean it in a patronising way, there is a genuine, evolution in the duo’s lyricism, and while they still have their little digs here and there, they aren’t over the top. Going forward, they are even more so now, situated to be at the forefront of a fresh generation of alternative synth-wave, and could easily keep the genre alive and kicking.
Previous efforts may not have contributed to the release of much oxytocin, I’ll level with you, but steadily, you can be a junkie for Junksista and not feel ashamed. Controlled doses, I guess? Perfect? No. Diana’s vocal delivery, with her spoken word, hushed tones, ARE niche, but they are delivering catchy tracks that will get them increasingly picked up at alt. Club nights across Europe, and I do believe there are bigger and better things to come. In the meantime, the club is now closed, and there is still a whore on the floor...I have hoovering to do...is she dead?