Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The Prefab Messiahs Set Today's B.S. Aflame in "21st Century Failure" Track and Video

Pandemics rage! Economies totter! Political systems rot! — and the environment circles the drain...

What better time for your friendly neighborhood art punks The Prefab Messiahs to set it all up, lay it all out, and burn it all down? Their new digital single (and video) "21st Century Failure" is a take-no-prisoners anthem tailor-made for those socially isolated moments when only a ranting, post-punk-psych-garage-pop-rave up will do. After all, it was recorded responsibly and safely from the individual members' isolated homes after the current sheltering-in-place took effect... 

Known for their frequent lashings of pointed dark humor, the Prefabs don't disappoint here, with ringleader Xeerox Feinberg launching lyrical salvos like "Give it up for free / your identity; Got your feelings hurt / by a kid's T-shirt; Trusted all the crooks / now the earth is cooked"—each end-tagged with the titular "It's a 21st Century failure!" Oh yeah, and for up-to-the-minute verisimilitude, the song actually features the line "Get a new disease / when you hear a sneeze."

While there's an infectious and crackling Ramones/Buzzcocks-fueled energy to the track, there's something wonderfully weird afoot with it too. The Prefabs have always sliced and diced a wider variety of essences into their art-punk crockpot than most of their peers—as Anthology Recordings once noted, the band "manages to perfectly execute the difficult joining of punk, psych, and garage." In this instance, guitarist Doc Michaud also slips in with some '60s organ swirls, while bassist Trip Thompson injects wiggy synth burbles into the feverish proceedings.

Feinberg is also an accomplished animator by trade; in recent years almost every song from the band has spawned a companion video as within his oft-maximalist visual style—cementing a unique and firm part of the Prefabs' identity. The video for "21st Century Failure" is a cartoon tornado ripping through many of the major failings of modern society and its so-called leadership.

"21st Century Failure" is available on all streaming platforms, including Bandcamp—where it's a "name your price" single.

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