Music Video Review
By our guest blogger, Nick Hanover
Note: Not Suitable For Work!
The key lyric in British Sea Power's new single "Who's In Control?" is "Protesting was sexy/On a Saturday night." It's by no means a new thing to equate violence and struggle with sex but British Sea Power's blunt, unsubtle way of bringing the two together is, well, novel. Following some teens or twentysomething or other sufficiently youthful gang from a hormone drenched car ride (flashing!) to unstructured anonymous protest (breaking sh!t) to an afterparty (streaking!), "Who's In Control?" structures its question not as one of political authority but biological imperative.
Tempting as it is to consider "Who's In Control?" a micro update of Bernardo Bertolucci's latter day effort The Dreamers, the reality is probably that it is, like so many things British Sea Power, a visual prank. Once known as the band that would dress up in antique naval regalia while flanked by stuffed birds of every variety, BSP's more recent shenanigans have found the band posing as U2 for this era of irony. That means a big arena sound with big hollow lyrics and big pretend ideals. In lesser hands it could have been a massive failure but BSP know their shit and are nothing if not committed.
What does that mean, exactly? Well, it means the joke's not on them, it's on us. BSP get that rock music is far more likely to stir your loins than your head and so the cast of characters for the video seem to be attending a protest not as devoted political enthusiasts but as players in a rite of passage. They get their scuffs and wounds, sure, but that all just adds to the thrill. The surge of adrenaline they take in after the fact turns them not towards further political action but further acts of horniness, taking to the streets in a defiantly nude manner.
Is it art? God, no. Does it make perfect sense for the music? Oh, yes.
View the video below. Thoughts?