20 months since our special introduction to their amazing craft, London based melancholic, cinematic, instrumental post rock trio IMMORTAL MACHINERY recently made a silent film with an instrumental, post-rock soundtrack, and to celebrate, we have teamed up for a special insight into their newest work and their picks for most creepy music videos ever.
Once again pushing the boundaries of the album/EP format, the band collaborated with photographer David Payne to create the silent film тараканы (Tarakani) (The Cockroach), in which the band’s music would drive the narrative.
The film tells the story of an unnamed pilot, trapped in a cycle of war flashbacks and waking nightmares. As he battles his hallucinations and alcohol dependency, he readies himself to fly out of trouble one last time.
The film stars Jamie F. Parker, a Drama & Theatre graduate from Royal Holloway University, London. Although this is his screen debut, Parker has appeared in numerous stage productions including The Trial by Steven Berkoff, DNA by Dennis Kelly and Posh by Laura Wade. A long-time musical collaborator with the band, Parker also plays drums on the latter portion of the soundtrack.
𝑇ℎ𝑟𝑜𝑢𝑔ℎ 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑗𝑒𝑐𝑡, 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑏𝑎𝑛𝑑’𝑠 𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑖𝑠 𝑡𝑜 𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑣𝑜𝑘𝑒 𝑎 𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑠𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑎𝑟𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑒𝑓𝑓𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑖𝑠𝑜𝑙𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛, 𝑎𝑑𝑑𝑖𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑝𝑎𝑠𝑡 𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑢𝑚𝑎 𝑜𝑛 𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑎𝑙 ℎ𝑒𝑎𝑙𝑡ℎ, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑎𝑠𝑘 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑞𝑢𝑒𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛: “𝑊ℎ𝑎𝑡 ℎ𝑎𝑝𝑝𝑒𝑛𝑠 𝑤ℎ𝑒𝑛 𝑤𝑒 𝑡𝑟𝑦 𝑡𝑜 𝑜𝑢𝑡𝑟𝑢𝑛 𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑑𝑒𝑚𝑜𝑛𝑠?”
тараканы (Tarakani) (The Cockroach) comes out on March 21st, 2022.
Top 10 Creepiest Music Videos
“Since we have made a decidedly weird, unsettling film of our own, we thought it would only be appropriate to pick our top ten creepiest music videos.” – comments the band. “There is a broad spectrum of creepy here – from explicitly horror-themed material to videos that had no intention of being disturbing but ended up freaking us out all the same.”
1. David Bowie – Blackstar
The magnum opus of a musical legend who knew he was facing death. Everything about this video is disconcerting – the convulsing dancers, the inscrutable storyline, and of course the intensity of Bowie himself when he locks eyes with the camera, bidding us farewell with the final piece of his legacy.
2. Family International – S.O.S.
On first glance, this might seem like a clumsy video to a chirpy 90s pop song. But, watch it again with the knowledge that Family International were an abusive cult; listen to the lyrics and hear their apocalypse theology that is clearly aimed at a young and vulnerable audience. For us, this brings a level of unintentional creepy that can’t be matched by many artists who are sincerely trying to scare their audience.
3. Gunship – Tech Noir
Of course it’s going to be weird, it’s a Lee Hardcastle animation after all. What starts out as a child-like claymation parody of 80s action/horror films eventually degenerates into an ultraviolent bloodbath. Hardcastle’s mutilated plasticine creations feed into the “uncanny valley” feeling more than CGI or 2D animation ever could.
4. Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life
The song might be mellow, but the video gives us a truly uncomfortable vision. Cohen’s shadowy presence broods over a surreal realm of brutalist concrete architecture, inhabited by faceless figures who caricature everyday life. There are no jump scares, no monsters – instead, we are presented with the grotesqueness of a meaningless, mundane existence. It feels as if we are being warned: “This could be you…”
5. Sungazer – Electro
Where vaporwave has a dreamy, pastel-coloured approach to 90s tech nostalgia, musician and animator Ben Levin takes those shared memories and puts them on a heroic dose of acid. Match this with Sungazer’s jarring, complex music and you have the perfect recipe for a bad trip with no chemicals required.
6. Vitas – Opera #2
Yes, the guy from that meme… He begins the narrative as your typical romantic protagonist – until it is revealed that he is a tortured aberration of nature with gills on the side of his neck. Vitas might be seen as a novelty act, but here we are given a real sense of body horror that is rare to find in pop music imagery.
7. Soundgarden – Black Hole Sun
The go-to creepy music video in the eyes of many. A perfect blend of David Lynch-esque imagery and American stereotypes, no list of this nature would be complete without Black Hole Sun.
8. Flying Pickets – Only You
A bunch of blokes eye you up menacingly while singing haunting, reverb-soaked a capella. To make matters worse, you’re in the wrong kind of British pub – the kind that you don’t go into unless you’re a local who can take care of yourself. How did you get here, and will you make it out in one piece? These questions are sadly never answered…
9. Bohren & Der Club Of Gore – Prowler
The music is slow-burning and ominous, the imagery is dark and flickering. The intention seems to be to put the viewer into the unstable mind of a predator, to enter their shadowy night-time realm of stalking and sudden violence. Guiding your audience into an uncomfortable headspace is no easy task, but Bohren & Der Club Of Gore do it very effectively here.
10. Sewerslvt – sick, twisted, demented
The colours are nauseating, the music is frantic, and you are confronted by a manic figure with glazed eyes that never blink. Look at it too long, and you’re sure to see it in your nightmares.