“Now is not the time for speaking politely or focusing on what we can or cannot say. Now is the time to speak clearly,” declares 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg on “The 1975,” the latest in a long line of eponymous album openers from the UK band. “It is time to rebel.”
“People,” the subsequent track off their upcoming record titled Notes on a Conditional Form, wastes no time with pleasantries. No longer just hoping that we’ll make it, it shoves itself in your face with a desert-rock guitar riff and Matty Healy’s rabid demand to wake up because the world is literally on fire. Already undeniably one of the best and most elastic vocal performers of his generation, Healy has never sounded so ALIVE: barking, shrieking, and snarling, ripping his vocal cords to shreds as he rhymes “Obama” with “marijuana.” “We are appalling and we need to stop just watching shit in bed/And I know it sounds boring and we like things that are funny but we need to get this in our fucking heads” he screams. If there’s still any question about whether or not the 1975 is a rock band, rather than an ’80s-indebted pop act, “People” will put that debate to rest.
Channeling Marilyn Manson’s oil-spill mane and Gerard Way’s vein-bursting bravado, the video features Healy leaning into a routine of the most performative rockstar stereotypes, all hip-thrusts, camera kisses, and flamboyant poses; at one point he gleefully detonates a suicide vest that explodes into emojis. It’s impossible not to think back to their 2016 video for “The Sound,” in which the band performs trapped in a translucent box while critics lob complaints like “there’s no danger in this music at all.” “People” has absorbed all the danger and turned it into an anthem.
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10 June 2019