WE REVIEW THE NEW SINGLE FROM THE BADLY BEHAVED – WHO AM I?
The Badly Behaved, one of the more literally iconoclastic band names around, are electronically-driven music-makers. That’s unsurprising for a band from Berlin. The German capital has long been one of techno’s leading cultural epicentres, but in 21st century post-rave Europe, The Badly Behaved are products of more than just rave culture.
Their single – ‘Who am I?’ – is as techno as it is europop. There are even spoken-word digressions à la Pet Shop Boys’ ‘West End Girls’. ‘Who am I?’ was the title track to the band’s 2022 album. Remixed and rereleased a year on, it’s percussively punchier than the original form.
The song plays as the internal monologue of a washed-up rockstar struggling to cling onto fame. Our protagonist questions – ‘How does everyone perceive me?’ – with a loosely allegoric tone to convey how many of us struggle with the same insecurities in life. The sentiment is true but at a surface-level.
Or at least that’s until The Badly Behaved deliver the song’s darkest lyrics. ‘Who am I? Am I right on trend? Or has my career reached the end?’ Hardly surface-level at all, these are the type of bleak meditations on fame and notoriety that Pink Floyd mused over.
What does this make ‘Who am I?’ – techno beats and lyrics that plod? Perhaps. But beneath an exterior of prosaicism, The Badly Behaved have tapped into the real and pernicious human fear of irrelevancy.