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”.

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain
  • Tyree

    Kanye West can go get aids.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpnJry5Buak

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      For eternity.

    • Scrimm

      Yeah I don’t care what it is the second I see that stupid face I have to turn it off.

      • Dagon

        Jesus. He just appears for 10 seconds in the video hahahha.

        • Scrimm

          Doesn’t matter. Left the song playing though, interesting.

  • Edward/Breegrodamus™

    Dude on the far right kinda looks like John Travolta.

    • The W.

      Dude on the far left looks like Vinter Slaush.

      • Edward/Breegrodamus™

        Cool video. I’m surprised all of the clips they used for it aren’t copyrighted all to hell…

        • Dagon

          Do you think they blurred the eyes just because of copyright?

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            Not sure. I imagine this band isn’t really on the radar on many of the artists used, but / and I doubt they got permission to use all of those clips from the owners of the music videos (likely the record labels the videos were filmed for). I would not be surprised if someone got wind of it and complained, legally speaking.

            (I am not a copyright lawyer, or any kind of lawyer)

          • The W.

            You aren’t knowledgeable of bird law?

          • INCREDIBEARD

            Lolled

          • Dagon

            Only fish law is real.

          • Dagon

            That makes sense.

            I don’t think there will be complaints though. Feminine intuition.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            Major record companies can be assholes about stuff like that, lol

          • If the views start piling up and it goes viral you can rest assured these useless human beings will swoop in and try to shut it down.

      • The W.

        Or Howard Stern.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      “Yeah… looks like”

      • Edward/Breegrodamus™

        Big John took a break from Scientology to play aggressive Ballou-core music.

        • CyberneticOrganism

          Gotta exorcise those thetans, y’know

      • best Simpsons reference since beginning of time / 10

  • Ahmed Johnson The Reef Eater

    The King is gone but he’s not forgotten. RIP BB King.

  • YYYYYYEESSSSS

  • nbm02ss

    The thrill is gone.

    • Ahmed Johnson The Reef Eater

      It sure is. I’m going to listen to his album from Cook County Prison as tribute.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pn7Jc1sWGg4

      • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

        great call!

        • Ahmed Johnson The Reef Eater

          The only live album of his that was better is Live At The Regal.

          • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

            Ill have to check that one today..sorry to say never heard it!

  • So, they’re mocking videos music and they aren’t get fired by MTV for using the logo?

    Also, the final part of the video is unnerving, it’s probably to express all this paranoia.

    Good finding, Dagon!

  • This is amazing, I love the concept. I’m all about trashing the mainstream, there is so much filth within it.

    • Dagon

      I like a lot of mainstream artists (primarily because of hip hop) but yeah, there’s definitely a lot of bullshit in the mainstream music world. Specially when it comes to publicity stunts and transforming artists into brands.

      • CyberneticOrganism

        Burn it down. Burn it all down.

      • CyberneticOrganism
      • CyberneticOrganism

        ..

        • Dagon

          Dead

        • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

          GOT _____?

          • CyberneticOrganism

            Is this a quiz? I haven’t studied.

          • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

            was going with the whole GOT MILK campaign but with GOT COCK? instead…

          • CyberneticOrganism

            “Got milk?”
            “It’s cum!”
            “Huzzah!”
            – Kanye West (probably)

        • Tyree
      • INCREDIBEARD

        Try my new Blackbeard’s Beard Wax. Guaranteed to make your beard not wimpy. Also, buy my new album

        • Dagon

          Would buy/10

    • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

      ^!

  • Dagon

    New drinking game: guess all the original videos in “Polarized”. For every wrong guess drink a shot.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      Prepare to be schwasted. Play the game during ToH business hours and live blog about it.

      • Dagon

        I’m not gonna drink in a while (a day) though. Last night’s binge was too real.

        • Edward/Breegrodamus™

          I briefly saw something to the effect on the computer here. Serious business eh?

          • Dagon

            Celebrating the birth of my thesis: the baby was finally delivered.

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

    Not dead, but sadly out of commission due to a stroke. If he was still playing it would just be him and Buddy Guy, keeping the old guard alive. Bummer. Now it’s just Buddy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1481wN-6_WA

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      So many roads.

  • CyberneticOrganism

    Sounds like a modern version of Starfuckers, Inc. I like it much.

    The video also reminds me of this (watch the whole thing for maximum eye assault).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dL0lNGXoP8E

    • Tyree
      • CyberneticOrganism

        Did they just set these two guys loose in Alabama & film it?

        • Tyree

          Apparently. It’s really great though.

          Edit: I think it’s in Nashville

          • CyberneticOrganism

            Damn, they stole my idea. I was going to fly Gaahl out here and film him attending a bro party.

  • Guacamole Jim

    This is pretty cool! I don’t really know what they’re trying to convey, but I dig the song mightily. The juxtaposition of the aggression in the music with the bombardment of sexuality/party themes in the chopped up videos makes for an interesting effect on the audience. Also, very happy I saw Charli XCX in there.

    • The W.

      I like your new look.

      • INCREDIBEARD

        Blaowblaow?

    • Paris Hilton

      You see Charli XCX on the new cover of Maxim!? Goddamn, boi!!

      • Edward/Breegrodamus™

        brb

      • Dagon

        “I yank a memory out of last night’s haze: She had described herself as a control freak. “Power gets me off,” she said. “I always want more than I have.” And now Charli begins to make more sense. She doesn’t dislike being a pop star; she’s just afraid of what it represents. Being a pop star is like being the world’s biggest marshmallow: You’re soft and delicious and absolutely meaningless. A pop star is an unserious thing. That’s why she’s so keen to play up her downbeat side. It’s her way of making clear that this role—no matter how well she inhabits it, or how much joy it secretly brings—does not define her. Charli is starting a publishing company and has begun managing other singers. She is also still a pop star opening up for Katy Perry.”

        I just had major power play fantasies right now. Fell in the thirst trap as if it was fucking Sarlacc.

      • Guacamole Jim

        Dude. If I weren’t so embarrassed to purchase Maxim, I’d have bought it in a heartbeat. As it was, I scoped them out online for.. research purposes.

  • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

    POP SUCKS…

    • Et tu, Taco?

      • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

        yes me too….its been a lifelong disdain prob due to Casey Kasem!

  • ChuggaChuggaDeedleyDoo

    Amazing how they could afford to secure all the sync licenses and/or permission from these well-known artists to use in this video. I’m sure that they won’t be receiving cease-and-desist letters or anything like that

    • CyberneticOrganism

      I don’t know what you’re talking about, I don’t recognize anyone in that video.

      *kicks your shin under the table*
      *shhh dude you’re gonna blow it*

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      I made a similar comment earlier. I only wonder if this will pop up on that large scale radar.

      • ChuggaChuggaDeedleyDoo

        Possibly. YouTube would probably just pull the video though, and that would largely be the end of it

    • CT-12

      Probably has something to do with parody laws.

  • The Beargod

    Blörgh!

  • Lilo’s Meatflaps Of Doom (KJU)

    AGH, that was fucking horrible (almost as bad as Darkthrone. Almost)! Ok, to unwash this one off. Even Tyree can’t match this one:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp2kpMaET8Q

  • That was fucking awesome!