Forgetting for a second the greasepaint, Keith Flint dance histrionics, and what looks suspiciously like simulated public jacking, the weird thing is the reaction of the public. Or, more accurately, lack thereof.
“Balloon Dog” has veteran Vancouver art-punk agitator Marc Blaquiere resurfacing under the guise of Phuture Memoriez. Riding shotgun is Jessica Blaquiere, with Lotusland music fans perhaps remembering the two as the team behind millennium-era weirdos Jerk In the Can.
The attack mode here starts with waves of neon-nightmare synths, chopped-and-deep-screwed vocals, and dumpster-bomb percussion. Which is another way of saying that “Balloon Dog” plays out like a subterranean soundscape more than what we traditionally think of as a song.
Impossibly, the video for the track is somehow twice as weird as what you hear on Bandcamp.
So many, many, many questions.
Why does the small child at the beginning of the clip not run to the man with her, bawling her little eyes out while shrieking, “They all float up here?”
Who in the hell is minding the playground, and why are they oblivious to the fact an EC Comics version of J.P. Patches is doing a modified Pennywise dance in plan view of the kinds on the swings?
Does no one eating on the restaurant patio notice that the thing known as Balloon Clown is feverishly working a pink tubesteak that makes Long Dong Silver look like Eric Cartman in South Park’s “T.M.I.” episode?
Why the hell is no one paying any attention to what’s basically a walking horrorshow until it starts handing out balloon animals? Which, by the way, no sensible person should want anything to do with—especially the, ahem, pink elephants.
And where is the John 3:16 sign? Jesus H. Christ and Rock’n Rollen Stewart—talk about a missed opportunity.
The answer to much of the above? Well one possibility is that, if you live in a big city long enough, you learn to make “Avoid all eye contact” your daily mantra.
Beyond that? Actually, who the hell knows? As David Lynch—who’d probably appreciate “Balloon Dog”—once sagely noted, the whole world is wild at heart and weird on top. Sometimes you gotta go with the flow, strange and terrifying as that might be.