Grimes has, of late, been fond of proving just how well worth the wait it was to finally get the auditory benefits of her new album, Art Angels. After releasing the joint video for the tracks “Flesh Without Blood” and “Life in the Vivid Dream,” a visual buffet of sartorial styles and vistas of Los Angeles, Grimes decided to once again team up with her brother, Mac Boucher, to bring us the video for one of the best tracks from the record, “Kill V. Maim.”
Opening with Law & Order-like titles, Grimes takes us on an underground safari of every sense of the word. Although the filming locations took place in the recesses of Toronto’s subways, there is something decidedly late 70s/early 80s New York about the aesthetic of the offering–specifically something The Warriors-esque. While viewers’ first inclination is to compare it to Mad Max (whether the original or Fury Road), there is no denying the homage to debauchery and destruction that was so unmistakable in the era of NYC bankruptcy.
Dressed in a leotard that can best be described as Blond Ambition-era Madonna while performing “Hanky Panky” meets Marie Antoinette, Grimes prances around with a multi-tonal Louis XIV-inspired wig on as her minions follow her dance lead in surgical masks and all-black attire (the one constant for bad assery in any era).
Their revelry soon segues from driving around in an animated-inspired environment to the platforms of the subway to an underground rave where Grimes can fully enlist one of her main inspirations for the record, Al Pacino in The Godfather 2–“except he’s a vampire who can switch gender and travel through space.”
With this in mind, it’s easy to see that The Warriors couldn’t have helped creeping in, considering it was released in the same decade of New York turmoil. In the end, a rave resolves any so-called issues, with the end result being, like Michael Corleone, “YOU DIED.” But at least a baroque, bloody good time was had in the process. Even Michael Alig would be proud–and not just because of the Versace plug.