Fair warning: Neon Neon‘s “Hammer and Sickle” is not what you would call a “safe for work” video. Nudity, murder, quick flashing images, and communist commentary are only a handful of the crazy images that will make the NSA monitoring your computer raise a few eyebrows. That being said, this video is filled with so much provocative imagery that you will need to watch it again and again to pick up on all the batshit insane images hiding in its one second flashes. While I can’t promise absolutely everything will make sense or be comfortable to sit through, there’s no denying that a lot of fun can be had with such a wild ride.
A partnership of American producer Boom Bip and Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys, Neon Neon released their latest album after a five year drought following the previous debut success “Stainless Style”. While their latest album served as a biography of sorts for auto maker John DeLorean (the “Back to the Future car” inventor) , this one centers on a more scattered narrative. When asked why the album took so long, Rhys expressed his desire to make sure it was “something different”. About five seconds of watching “Hammer and Sickle” makes it pretty safe to say that these two have succeeded in delivering what they wanted to. So many intricate sets and costumes are utilized that its almost impossible to classify what genre this video could fall into. Mission accomplished there.
Despite the overload of insane images Neon Neon chucks at the viewer there’s still a solid method one can extract in its never-ending madness. The titular hammer and sickle make their appearances, but their sandwiched between the aforementioned craziness including, but not limited to, soviet spy capers, darkly lit torture rooms, naked prisoners being searched, and good old fashioned evil orgy scenes. The video could have been directed by David Lynch with its blend of the lighthearted aspects of communism juxtaposed with the harsh crimes done in its name. I could expand more on what the meaning may be but this site is about good music, not politics. Whatever your own leanings may be, don’t let them take away from what really is a killer song with a killer video.
While Hammer and Sickle may be a bit too much to process on a Monday, the tune is upbeat enough to help get you through your day. My advice would be to listen to the tune for background music while giving some pause for really watching the video. If you want a quick flash trip, this video has it for you. Just remember that the video is more rewarding the more you analyze.