Next month, Maynard James Keenan’s non-Tool band a Perfect Circle will end a decade-plus silence with the release of the new album Eat The Elephant. And, as a productively functioning band, they’re engaging in traditional promotional activities one again. For example: Music videos! After making on for comeback single “The Doomed,” they’ve now got another one for the sprawling, churning, searching follow-up “Disillusioned.”
Where the band’s video for “The Doomed” consisted entirely of unnerving, near-unmoving portraits of the members of the band, the people in a Perfect Circle don’t even show up in the “Disillusioned” clip. Instead, director Alex Howard has seized on the themes of the song and made a short allegorical film about phone obsession. It follows a woman who is part of a sort of cult where people worship their smartphones. The druidic priests wear Darth Vader robes and VR headsets, and people crouch around glowing screens like cavemen around fire. One woman finally sees a way out.
This is, of course, all very on-the-nose. The thing that’s presented as an alternative looks like as much a cult as the phone-worshipping cabal, and you have to think that a large number of people will watch this video on their phones. Still, it’s effective filmmaking with a strong visual sensibility. I have to imagine that it looks like an episode of Black Mirror on purpose. Check it out below.
Eat The Elephant is out 4/20 on BMG.