It’s been a solid seven years since the last album from the-soundtrack-of-my-wayward-youth band The Strokes, but today their latest, The New Abnormal, hits the internet just in time for us to all have a dance party (in our own homes). The video for their single "Bad Decisions" showcases, once again, the band’s commitment to retro, lo-fi aesthetic, but this time with a little something more.
I’m talking terrifying, melting, faceless clones.
What looks like a variety showcase commercial from the 1970s, an older gentleman in an ugly suit tells us we can buy customizable clones of the hottest band. We watch as people young and old sit in their living rooms, press a massive red button on top of a jingly-jangly, faux-chandelier looking lamp, and get their own version of the band members: Julian Casablancas, Nick Valensi, Albert Hammond Jr., Nikolai Fraiture, and Fabrizio Moretti — all of whom have long, brushable Barbie doll hair and brown-to-beige-to-white options for suits.
But then things take a turn. We get to see what a Stroke looks like when it arrives: featureless and bald, it’s up to the new owner to attach a face to that blank, Doctor Who-looking horrifying thing that walks out of a broken cardboard box.
Yeah, like that’s not going to murder someone in their sleep.
Predictably, everything starts to go wrong as the video progresses. Our greasy-haired, grifter salesman of a host tries the special-new-personality-control edition of the machine and the clones start glitching, aka, the aforementioned face melting.
All the people who bought the clones are screaming and crying, and I mean if Julian Casablancas' head exploded in my kitchen, I think I’d probably scream, too.
At the end, like a Christopher Nolan movie about magicians, we, quite literally, get a peek behind the curtain to see how the sausage is made (not quite so literally). It’s all very gross. Bangin’ song, though!