The Armed premiere intriguing video for “Polarizer”

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Detroit’s The Armed‘s new album is one of the releases I am most excited about in 2015. Their caustic sound will once again be handled by Kurt Ballou, and everything I’ve heard so far is very, very promising. The band just released (May 14th) a new video for the track “Polarizer”, which I can only categorize as intriguing.

As a warning, I’d say this video can be considered slightly NSFW. It features short clips of several popular music acts – there’s no actual nudity, but unless you live under a rock, you know that some innuendo is expected. That shit sells. There is also a twerkaleidoscope near the end.

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The song itself is “polarized” – a loud/quiet/loud sandwich, comparable to a grilled cheese in which the top bread slice got covered with parmesan so that it would form a delicious crust on top.

What made me intrigued were the visuals and how they interact with the song. First, all of the eyes have that blurry mosaic on top of them, as if the depicted celebrities were denouncing something on TV and didn’t want their identity disclosed. Then, there’s the MTV logo on the bottom. Third, the clips have been synced to look like the artists are actually singing the lyrics to the song, which, combined with “FEEL GOOD” in all caps, produce a rather unnerving sensation.

Is this a critique of mainstream music and their videoclip tropes? Or was the clip built like this strictly per aesthetic reasons? I’m afraid I can’t answer these questions. I have to say I appreciate how this video looks. A lot. The blurry Kanye West excerpt blends in perfectly with the quiet section of the track, while the party/happy scenes are a polar opposite to the overall sound of this song. Three issues sprung to mind while watching this on repeat:

  1. The interchangeable nature of mainstream popular music.
  2. Is pop another form of opiate to the masses? Is this why The Armed are throwing FEEL GOOD images at our faces while ripping apart joy with the sound?
  3. We are living in the time of remixes. Everything is, arguably, a colage of previous works, much like this video is a colage itself. Copyright issues. Blurred Lines.

What exactly is The Armed trying to communicate with this video? Is there a message at all?

Sound off, flushers.

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Be sure to like The Armed on Facebook if you like this tune, and check out their Bandcamp page where you can purchase all of their releases for the hefty sum of “Name Your Price”.

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