There’s music that makes you pour your voice out… and then there’s music that makes you spew your soul out – and that’s the effect of Syd.31, the Manchester-based genre-jumping electro punks. They pull out the listener’s rawest emotions, savouring every splatter, especially with their latest single ‘We Are The Freaks’ on AnalogueTrash– the video filmed in Manchester’s iconic Antwerp mansion, featuring a blood-strewn crowd, and a celebration of everything alternate.
It begins with intense pulsing electronics, a girl spewing blood and lead singer Dr Magic starting to fan himself… the suggestion being that things are going to get a little bit hot – and certainly messy. You have the exclusive chance to watch it before it’s release date at the end of this article, only in Louder Than War.
‘Imagine the sounds of Slayer joining up with Die Antwood, and then turned up…’
The video is a creative and well-coordinated accompaniment to the single, one of many stand-out tracks from Syd 31’s upcoming album ‘The Last Punks on Earth’, due for release on AnalogeueTrash in early 2017. Imagine the sounds of Slayer joining up with Die Antwood, and then turned up… and tampered with…
Matching a video to such a track must have been a particularly tricky task, as Syd. 31 continue with their boundary-defying, bass-busting anger – all with that signature social intelligence which keeps these punks powerful.
‘The song is a social outcry’
In ‘We Are The Freaks’, the video shows a close crowd in a tattered room, glints of teeth and hands grabbing flesh, before the chorus kicks in, with Dr Magic’s hoarse cry catapulting the lines ‘We’re the freaks you’d care to meet/ dressed in black and see us bleed’. The song is a social outcry about anyone who has faced violence for being different, based not just the singer’s personal experience, but that of many more:
“It’s largely biographical in emotional terms. It’s digesting a time in my life that was very hard for me. I didn’t realise how bad it was while I was living it, I took it as that’s just how it all was. But there are certain events that were just horrific: the look in someone’s eyes as they open the door and see you covered in blood again. No one should ever have to witness the hurt for you in their eyes.”
‘Reclaim the word ‘freak’, take the blood others have made them spill and instead immersive themselves in it ‘
This is unfortunately a situation faced by many, people who have felt targeted simply for being different – labelled a ‘freak’ and even threatened. Syd. 31 strike back and reclaim the word ‘freak’, take the blood others have made them spill and instead immersive themselves in it and their own power for this ear-blistering track – showing their development over time, in what may be one of their most resonant pieces yet.
Thanks to clever cinematography which shifts from crowd to band and back again at alternate angles, the video seems to make the single room of the video seem so much bigger – just like Syd.31 take the capacity of single track and push it to the max.
Feel it for yourself as the anthemic chorus crashes in with the lines we crave ‘we are the freaks!’ with upbeat electronics and a wash of guitars as the crowd go wild. Then there’s a great punchy drum beat and persistent pulses back into the chorus as the crowd grow in their expressiveness and get more intense, fronted by Dr Magic and the band – smiles slipping through the blood.
‘Arms and bodies up in the air’
This is music created out of passion – the passion to be alive and to be different – and performed to not only voice all they have faced, but to give a voice to the voiceless, those who have struggled to speak out. This is shown in the ever-growing energy of the video as the track enters the second run-through of the chorus, arms and bodies up in the air.
The final lines until the fade-out seem to be ripped raw from Dr Magic’s vocal chords, a crying ‘there’s no one like us, so no one likes us’, capturing the representation of what well may be one of the last counter cultures willing to shout out against the mainstream.
I don’t like it. Nah, I love it. The filthy, fierce and equally thoughtful lyrics and visual combination of ‘We are the Freaks’ is an illustration not just of surviving, but thriving, through music. Seriously good.