As much as we'd all like to pretend otherwise, the idea that we're living in a colour-blind world has never been more laughable.
Consider the people of Mexico, who've become the favourite whipping boys and girls of American red hat Republicans.
Or ask residents of Chad, Libya, Yemen, or Somalia just how colour blind the world is, not just on these shores but also in Europe.
The members of Massive Scar Era know full well how cheap talk is when it comes to issues of race, discrimination, and equality.
Thanks to a fascinating back story, the band has gained some traction over the past couple of years, including an appearance in no less than the New Yorker. Lower Mainland-based singer Cherine Amr comes from Egypt, where women aren't supposed to play aggressive music with other women, let alone aggressive music with guys, something she's done on both fronts.
Her long-time collaborator in the Vancouver edition of Massive Scar Era is Nancy Mounir, whose considerable proficiency on violin and Egyption flute gives the band an exotic flavour missing from most metal bands, no matter how progressive.
The video for "Color Blind"—also the title of an EP scheduled for release later this year—doesn't take a hit-you-over-the-head approach to a complex issue. Instead you get multitasking Vancouverite Miley Mumford showing that she's every bit as talented at dance and choreography as she is as a Fringe playwright and her day-job as a scientist.
The song hits as hard as the video imagery is beautiful, especially when Amr fully taps her inner enraged Otep halfway through.
"Color Blind" was inspired by--wouldn't you know--an incident which saw the band turned back at the Peace Arch border on its way to play SXSW, which it's appeared at in the past.
After describing the work as “heavily influenced by the incident at SXSW", Amr states the following in Massive Scar Era's press kit:
The songs talk about discrimination and stereotype. We continue to introduce pre-colonial Egyptian music to our sound, celebrating the Egyptian identity, which means all the violin’s Egyptian scales and microtones in this EP do not follow the guidelines of the Cairo Music Conference (1932) that was held during the British Colonization of Egypt. Plus with the addition of Dylan Widjenes-Charles to the band as our bassist. He’s an indigenous guitarist, bassist, and songwriter from Musqueam that is heavily influenced by Edge of Sanity, Opeth, Ihsan, and Porcupine Tree. He has been my creative companion for COLOR BLIND. Dylan grew up on the reserve and his life wasn’t easy, we all know the discrimination that indigenous people are facing and 25 years ago, things were even worse than now. The experiences we share as band members are quite similar and this what made the creative process smoother because we all understood, felt, and lived what the songs are actually talking about.
Society's finally at a point where it's colour blind? Yeah, right. Tell that to anyone who isn't white.