Only seconds into listening to London and Birmingham-based band Sheer Calm‘s new track “Mantle Piercer” and you’re hit with a siren-like guitar riff that develops into a dark grungy contrast of eerie verses and angsty choruses wrapped up in anxiety-soaked fuzz.
It’s hypnotic and menacing; calming and tragic. It’s 4 mins of being sat in the therapists office, with their Freudian technique wondering if you shouldn’t just move to a remote place and get a ton of cats. Or breed hamsters. Or something equally as fucked up.
Lyrically the song also reflects this structure; with seemingly sarcastic ‘privileged’ problems being met with the eventual line ‘but Damascus burns’.
And that’s kind of the point. The music video is a series of collected footage of volcanic eruptions and their aftermath—with nods to the famous volcano chasing couple ‘Katia and Maurice Krafft’. But when mixed with the music, you get feelings of urgency and suppressed anger, and sadness. It’s a beautiful nightmare that touches you in ways that only melancholy can, but it’s also like its remote. Not quite real.
Give it a listen for yourself and see if you’re as fucked up as we are.
Single artwork by Lauren Humphrey.