“Desperate (Trump) Times Demand The Prefab Messiahs!”
With the 2018 midterms a long ways off, there are never enough protest songs out there to resonate with our frustrations over Cheeto Voldemort’s agenda against minorities, women’s rights, science, and freedom of the press (among many other things).
The Prefab Messiahs have always been critics of a backwards America brainwashed by consumerist idolatry, and throughout their career they’ve taken pot shots at Ronald McDonald, The Pillsbury Doughboy and other advertizing icons. It is only fitting for “The Man Who Killed Reality”, the follow-up to 2015’s comeback release Keep Your Stupid Dreams Alive, to target Trump, since he embodies the shallow, luxury living of the increasingly corrupt American Dream.
The video depicts the politically incoherent Trump peeing on his supporters to the lines “Enemies cower/as he rains a golden shower on his fans”, and flying through space via a methane rainbow presumably powered by his own farts/Tweets. I see this as a nod to 2011’s 8-bit animation sensation Nyan Cat, as well as a comment on viral marketing, the cultural propagation of memes, and the overall vast absurdity of the internet and the world we now live in.
As with all great protest songs, “The Man Who Killed Reality” is also funny while serving up some sharp-tongued invective. The animation by Xeth Feinberg is rendered in a colorful psychedelic Yellow Submarine style, and the buffoonish Trump is a modern day Blue Meanie Countdown Clown with his squat, spinning form and bulbous blobfish lips.
Trump’s dismantling of environmental protections is also noted (“He’s got the power/watch him trample every flower/‘cause he can”). Of course most of us are already aware of Trump as an incompetent crook, and the band didn’t want to write your typical “cranky old folk singer” protest song, so the message is pretty straightforward, and the presentation isn’t sulky, self-important or heavy-handed. The music is bright and sunny, with an almost cheerful zeal in its guitar power-jangle, tambourine shake, grumbling bassline and guest synths courtesy of fellow underground Massachusite weirdo Gary War. Nonetheless it still has power for those who are open to hearing more than just exactly what they want to hear.
All words by Carrie Quartly, you can read more of her writing on the site here.