Last week we premiered the new video from The Ruminaters, commenting something to the extent that you would be left questioning your sanity after watching it. Well forget what we said. There’s a new music video to take the WTF crown, and it rightly belongs to Crush Me from Pelts.
One of the most confronting videos of the year, Pelts Crush Me refuses to pull any punches as it bombards you with one shocking image after another.
Pelts are a duo from Los Angeles who play with a lot of dark electronic pop and industrial influences. On vocals we have Jim Swill, a spoken word artist and former frontman of punk band Realicide. His other half is producer Henry Sugar who some may know through his work as a member of HideThenSeek. The guys got together last year and what they’ve been able to produce has been incredible. It helps that on their own both Swill and Sugar are prolific artists in their own right, but much like Captain Planet, they’re stronger when individual powers are combined.
The video for Crush Me is, for lack of a better word, purely insane. The band’s chaotic electronic sound has been translated perfectly in the video. It helps that Swill is on co-directing duty with Paul Rosas, his experience as a visual artist coming into play to create some truly striking imager for the video. Crush Me as a song is a pretty bleak one, riddled with anxiety and existentialism. The clip itself is pretty simple, featuring many people in front of different coloured backdrops, involved in some various forms of limited violence. Swill says he was inspired by the likes of Dom Sebastien, Richard Kern and the film The Holy Mountain.
“There’s a particular scene in the movie The Holy Mountain in which people are getting killed, but instead of like bleeding or exploding, their guts and stuff were replaced with flower petals and other similar items. I loved the idea of this kind of folk art limited violence” says Swill. “It was important to communicate a kind of blurred sexually charged slasher vibe while limiting it all to be a little restrained and candid, like not stepping over certain boundaries. I think when you put a limit on things you have to get more creative to communicate your message in a more subversive way“.
Choking on plastic, letting cockroaches run free across the face (“It’s still so intense when they’re clinging to your lips trying to crawl in your mouth” remarked Swill) and plenty of snakes; you get the idea. Each image is as shocking as the next, but it’s done in quite a tasteful way in such that you’ll be inclined to revisit the video to decipher its meaning. Indeed these aren’t just random metaphors used for shock value. Swill and Rosas tell an exciting story with each subject they present to the camera. Each subject represents a struggle within the individual as they fight to establish themselves as a human being stronger than the vices represented in screen. Except for the one guy getting his dick chopped off, that’s just nasty. Sugar recalls that is his favourite part of the clip; “The whole crew was laughing pretty hard at that shot cause it’s just a huge machete slicing into a spray painted cucumber and dousing it in red corn syrup“.
We’ve seen some pretty great videos this year, like this one, and this one, and this one. Crush Me is definitely on that level, its creepy yet efective use of imagery is guaranteed to stay with you long after the clip has finished.
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