In a blitz session of blood curdling vocals, disarticulated fretwork and wickedly deranged lyricism, One Hand Tommy sees The Imbeciles tell us the tale of: Tommy; a child trapped in a dystopian landscape of nuclear annihilation with only a giant killer snake for company.
Collaborating with Shane Beam, their regular animation partner, this delectably unhinged meeting-of-minds conjures a two-minute sensory riot, in a video cloaked with enigmatic symbolism and allegory.
While some may detect religious overtones to Tommy's epic battle with the snake/serpent, other viewers may decipher a metaphor alluding to the systemic problems facing the world today (societal, technological, ecological, viral). The Imbeciles invite you to make your own mind up...
Shedding further light on Tommy, the song's eponymous protagonist and star of the video; Butch Dante (the band's rhythm guitarist), says:
"Tommy is an almost mythical figure: An everyman – or 'everychild. Vulnerable but brave, he represents innocence and hope in a desperate world."
The video for 'One Hand Tommy' is also an homage to Le Ballon Rouge, the classic 1956 French short.
In that film a bright red balloon is the only pop of colour in an otherwise grey, morose post-war Paris.
Here, the colour is found in Tommy's red onesie. The video"s nightmarish finale is illuminated by the transcendent light of nuclear holocaust – all part of a mise en scène that echoes everything from Picasso"s Guernica through to the great sci-fi movies of the fifties and sixties.
Having worked with the band on previous videos including D.I.E, Medicine and BAT, Shane Beam was the band's only choice to bring Tommy's bizarre existence to life.
"This is Shane's finest work for us to date," Dante praises. "Many of the individual frames rise to the level of art."
The Imbeciles play Brighton's Green Door Store on Friday 13th November 2020. CLICK HERE for tickets.