Music is inherently a form of art. Due to its versatility, we often forget this to be the case, but it’s always awe-inspiring when an artist jogs our memory. Enter Poster Boy (aka Kenton Smith), the Toronto-based multimedia and queer noise artist using music as a brushstroke on a wider canvas.
For Smith, noise and energy are the physical byproducts of any powerful work, serving as the end goal for all future projects. Rather than aiming to produce these outcomes, however, the artist bases their entire creative output around them. Their latest video release name of the dead is a shining example. Overwhelming in the most provocative way, the clip blends ’90s visuals, satire, and fuzzed-out grunge into a visual art masterpiece.
Poster Boy is bringing the art back into music, their latest video for name of the dead is defining proof.
From the minute name of the dead begins, Poster Boy really doesn’t give you a chance to breathe. Washed out VHR images, overdriven guitar, and distorted synth all create the perfect accompaniment to Smith’s brooding lyrics. “What’s the problem with me, why can’t I deal? Oh, I know why, ’cause I’m fucked up in the head,” they sing.
Yet, just when you think that you had the grunge-heavy track figured out, Poster Boy goes and sprinkles on a bit of satire. Opening with the ominous words “pizza is a dish best served hot or cold,” audiences are then led on a hunt for a pepperoni-laden villain.
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Poster Boy has unapologetically spun a sensory overload been into art, unwinding angst through visual and sonic. It’s underground visual art, meets satire, meets a heavy punch of grunge. Obviously a project as intricate as Smith’s has garnered its fair share of attention.
“Spawned at a time when Ty Segall’s ‘melted’ was blowing up and the infamous d.i.y. space known as ‘The Garage’ was getting shut down,” the artist’s bio reads. “Jude from HSY listened to their first demos and threw them on their first bill. (In fact, they were listed on the poster without their prior consent!) And after a handful of shows, that band lasted for just about a year until Kenton kicked everyone out… What was left? Feelings and noise.”
name of the dead is an exciting taster of the artist’s second LP by the same name. With credits for art and engineering on Netflix’s Riverdale and Dilly Dally’s record Heaven also under their belt, it looks like Poster Boy is en route to greatness.
The name of the dead record drops today, grab your copy here. Check out the name of the dead video below: