In an alternate psych rock universe not too far away, Julian Casablancas is crooning about the currency of truth as fashion icon Suki Waterhouse fixes her lipstick in the reflection of a washing machine door. The music video for The Voidz release Permanent High School is bathed in pervasive neon lighting and a frantic, disjointed energy. Nearly unrecognizable as a greasy 80’s rocker, Casablancas bites his nails and slouches in the front seat of an airbrushed tour van on his way to a gig as Suki and her similarly styled friends straggle behind to tussle with the venue’s security. Told by an apparently intoxicated narrator, the video circles back on itself to affect a non-linear approach, much like The Voidz themselves.
Formed in 2014 as an experimental rock group, The Voidz takes influence from a wide swath of musical acumen. Having once been hailed as the messiah of a new rock age with the breakthrough success of The Strokes in the early 00’s, one can’t help but get the impression that The Voidz is the antithesis to Casablancas’s earlier work. From Synth Rock to American Folk, influences form sporadically and catch the listener off guard, giving weight to a sense that the band is more punk than rock at it’s core. Though Virtue is only their second album, it’s also been referred to as more politically charged than the band’s previous 2014 release, Tyranny. Permanent High School openly disparages both the ongoing political climate in the US, and the state of the music industry at once.
Be damned, don't you dare
I'll be laughing from here to there
Just because something's popular
Don't mean it's good
In an interview on A Fistful Of Vinyl earlier this year, when Casablancas was asked about his influences he maintained that he doesn’t think it’s possible to be truly considered experimental in the internet age when every era and genre of music is now readily available, but he did have some advice for his fans. “Make sure what you put in your ears is amazing and eclectic. All art is theft and imitation to a degree so what you’re influenced by is very important. Pulling off something that sounds unfamiliar and making it sound catchy is something I embrace and hope to achieve.”
Hear something sort of new in Permanent High School.