With a deceptively tamed jangling start, ‘Man of the People’ by Melbourne trio Children Collide erupts into a mountainous riff-laden fuzzy psychedelic trip laced with a wild caterwauling guitars and an air of barely contained excess and chaos. An utterly satisfying thumpingly cathartic ride with a sudden stop that leave your senses reeling.
But it’s not all empty noise. The incessant drive and heavy metal thump laced with chemicals carries a strong and heartfelt message of an era that is thankfully and hopefully over. According to frontman Johnny Mackay:
Originally titled ‘Dark Bird’ this was an instrumental I’d written just after Monument. I pulled it out, dusted it off and wrote lyrics in New York at the height of the Trump presidency. I was having a bit of a rock bottom moment personally and my whole world felt like cocaine, mezcal and pathetic desperation against the backdrop of a Murdochian dystopia where the bastards had won. My reaction is always to stuff my hopelessness into an aural time capsule. I love how heavy Loren and Doug made it and the one take solo gives me anxiety when I listen back.
As an aural time capsule, it packs a heady impact. The accompanying video, directed by the mysterious Lord Fascinator, is a simple yet effective performance piece by the band: putting on show their dynamism and enigmatic presence.
The closest any TV program ever got to transferring that true live band energy through the screen was Germany’s Beat Club which ran from ‘65-’72. I’ve done many deep dives on their YouTube Channel. Check out Sabbath, Can, Fanny, MC5, Canned Heat, there’s even one with NEU! & Kraftwerk jamming. Somehow the crude green screen and way it’s edited makes you feel something special, so I really wanted to go for that vibe with this video. The crash zooms referenced old Sonic Youth videos and I added in some funny old Star Wars wipes in the edit then stirred it all into a visual soup to hopefully give people a taste of that live energy in their screens.
It’s a fittingly visual display of the power of the track:
‘Man of the People’ is available to download and stream here.
Children Collide will be releasing their fourth album ‘Time Itself’ on 27 August 2021, available to pre-order here, and embarking on an Australia wide tour (well, sadly, except for Tasmania). Detail below and tickets go on sale today.
Feature Photograph: Jordan Drysdale