Thursday, 25 August 2011

Music Video Deconstruction 4

Band: The Acacia Strain 
Song: Angry Mob Justice
Year: 2006

  • This single is by a band called The Acacia Strain from Massachusetts, USA. 
  • It is from their second album and their first proper one, The Dead Walk, released in 2006. 
  • In somewhat of a binary opposite to all the other videos I've covered so far, the video for Angry Mob Justice still retains the aspects of performance and narrative, but it also goes for a much more comedic style, more so than the other 3 videos...
  • The video starts with a mid shot of a massive obese American man (The Acacia Strain are American) sitting down on a sofa; this immediately hints at the redneck stereotype of Americans, particularly the Southern states, and also a stereotype of Americans as a whole due to this guy being massively overweight.
  • The camera used in the establishing shot is handheld, a point made obvious by the shaking when following the man.
  • There is then another midshot, set at a low angle, of the man turning on the tv, in which the video really starts to get going; the narrative of the video is a tetherball (a common American sport similar to dodgeball in the physicalness of it). At this point the playback begins, starting off with a heavy snare drum fill with distorted guitars which matches the song's angry nature. 
  • I should take a moment here to explain what the song is about; using the website and the sub thread of, I'll point out a few possible ideas; 
  1. "This is one of the most visually descriptive songs I've ever heard. It paints such a bleak picture of the end of the world and the havoc wrought upon mankind."
  2. "It is about the end of the world.
    like the whole song is about how how the world is ruined.
    and everythings burning away.
    and that the ashes of the dead are being carried by the wind around the whole world."
  3. "And the music does a good job of reflecting the different stages of the how as Vincent says 'then the blast wave hit' is when the guitars pick up in speed and heaviness, or how after he says 'winter began around the world' the guitars pick up again because another tragedy is about to happen."
  • After the title is displayed, the camera then pans across both teams who are participating in the game; there is the "Angry Mob Justice" team, obviously representing the song, which contains all the members of the Acacia Strain, and "Diablos", being the archetypical "jock" stereotype, who are ultimately destined to lose. 
  • On several occasions, the camera focuses on the fat man from the beginning who is obviously watching this on his television. 
  • This is where the performance aspect of the video is started; there is an extreme close up of a microphone on the floor and Vincent, the vocalist, picks it up while the intro continues. He then proceeds to start the songs' vocals by screaming the opening lyrics, with a close up shot of him doing so.
  • From this point on there are frequent transitions and cuts between the band performing their song in a large room, possibly a hangar, and the game of tetherball going on at the same time. There are also intermittent scenes, normally mid shots, of the man watching the game.
  • During the perfomance of the songs, the camera often shows close ups of the instruments when notable parts of the song are played; for example, during a heavy breakdown or chugging part of the song, the camera will focus on the guitars, mostly lead. There are also a few high shots and low shots, particularly low to make the band members seem intimidating, which works well. 
  • Some parts of the music is synchronous with the video as well; for example, there is a part in the video where a Diablo player hits the ball into the A.M.J player's face (Vincent) exactly as another heavy part of the song begins to play and he falls to the floor. 
  • The narrative ends with a Diablo player versus an AMJ player in some sort of final, in which the Diablo player loses, thus winning the band the game. There is a scuffle and the camera pulls away to the fat guy from the introduction eating crisps, as the end of the performance aspects begins to draws near as well.

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