Gem Club: You Will All Die Sexless and Alone
We've been searching for a while for something as disturbingly beautiful as the Irrepressibles' "The Lady is Dead" video. We haven't found it in Gem Club's "252," but it is pretty damned close. It's never going be beautiful because there is just too much pain in it. Granted, there is no true beauty without sorrow to give it its boundaries, but there comes a point when something is just too broken to ever be pretty. Gem Club passed that point screaming and never looked back.
The video follows a series of alone people. Some aren't all by themselves, but trust us, they are all alone. Each of our subjects continuously exudes a desperate desire to connect with someone, but each attempt comes off fleeting and painfully awkward. One man sadly masturbates in a hotel room, a girl cries in the shower, a young couple tries without success to kiss and grope their way into happiness only to break down in tears.
The song itself is as hollow as the video's cast, just a plaintive and sad voice of a haunting, Philip Glass-esque piano. You know from the first notes that the road you're going to travel down is bleak, and hooks for your heart hang from every dead tree. Then, of course, people begin to die.
Almost immediately, what lives the poor wretches are failing to live are snuffed out in a manner more brutal and shocking than any torture porn finale. They simply keel over, and a foam oozes from their orifices in a slow flood while they twitch their mana away on dirty carpets. A black, vicious fluid makes many appearances, more of a sign of sickness than the final flow of life's blood, but somehow it's the white foam and the dying light in the people's eyes that really hammerblows you.
What the hell happened to director Matthew Salton in his life that he had to go out and remind us that the odds are you'll die sexless, badly, and alone? Why make us face that while Gem Club serenades? It's unlikely that we're ever going to get this wasting disease of a music video out of our heads. It's too real, too raw, and too much and too little at the same time. Watch it below if you dare.
Music videos are our passion, and the art form continues to amaze us. Gem Club and Salton once again prove our premise that the medium is alive and well, even if we can't say the same for our sunny disposition after viewing their work. Whatever, that's not their problem. They set out to alter their viewers visually and aurally forever, and "252" has done it brilliantly. Gem Club is a band to watch carefully... not the least because you might want to 'ware of their knives.
We sat down with Christopher Barnes of Gem Club and director Matthew Salton to ask them about "252." Continue to page 2 for the interview.