Last Decemeber The Smashing Pumpkins released their ninth studio album, Monuments to an Elegy. Today, a music video for the song “Drum + Fife” off of that same album hit the internet, and it felt like a great time to review it. honestly this will probably be my first real exposure to the group so it’s bound to be an interesting ride none the less.
The video starts off in silence with several different shots of an incredibly picturesque desert that’s particularly beautiful. As the song starts it blends perfectly with the video’s imagery, starting off slowly and almost dream like as the video focuses on a group of four kids who seem to be playing pretend in the deserts with slingshots and a drum. As the song progresses it grows in power, as do the imaginings of the kids. Then, everything becomes really intense and real. The song doesn’t noticeably shift in tone or pitch, but the over all feel of it definitely grows over the course of the video. And the video matches it pace for pace as the desert around the kids starts to send up plumes of sand.
The video and the song continue, never feeling rushed but definitely drawing the attention of the watchers. It’s unclear to me whether the kids were being shot at or whether they had simply happened across some mines, though it appeared they were being shot at for the most part. The video builds to it’s climax as three of the four kids lay dead in the sand and the sole girl of the group takes up the drum and continues their ‘mission’. The video ends with the girl walking into a town whilst banging on the drum, and coming across a soldier in camouflage. She hands over a medal that she had picked up earlier in the video, and takes the soldiers hand. They head off together, and the drum is left sitting by the bench where she found the soldier.
All in all, it was an incredibly powerful video that went with the song quite nicely. There are a few points that really leave it up to the watcher on what really happened, but that sort of consideration only adds to the power that the video possesses in my opinion. It’s an extremely well done video, and it certainly caught my attention.