Bethlehem Steel — the very good Brooklyn band fronted by Becca Ryskalczyk — just released their newest EP, Docking, last week, and today they’ve shared a video for searing lead single “87s.” In it, the band and some friends play the childhood game ninja in softly lit black-and-white. Gameplay involves a lot of poses and sharp movements, which makes the video particularly eye-catching, and the dark palette complements the song’s mood. For those of you familiar with the game — it could just be a regional thing? Always hard to tell — it’s a fun look at something you probably haven’t played since the schoolyard. For those that haven’t, see if you can parse the rules below.
The band, various friends, and I have been playing ninja for a long time, something which was passed down through Zephyr [Prusinski]’s previous band Zona Mexicana. At some point last winter the game broke out of the places that we would normally play (living rooms and post-show venues) and started happening more and more in the real world. We were playing on sidewalks, subway platforms, and trains. Onlookers were always intrigued, and I imagined that it looked like an interpretive dance piece from the outside. So when Becca came to me with the idea of a ninja themed music video, it seemed natural to put the audience in the position of an onlooker being brought into this weird ritual. The film noir aesthetic complimented that mystery perfectly, and it dictated how the video would ultimately be shot and edited.
Docking is out now via Miscreant Records.