At The Drive-In has been building on the momentum of their latest album, in • ter a • li • a, since its release in May of this year. Released on Rise Records, in • ter a • li • a, is the first studio album from the band in seventeen years, since Relationship of Command. Today, At The Drive-In released a video for “Call Broken Arrow.”
The video, directed by Rob Shaw, is actually a continuation of the band’s video for “Hostage Stamps,” in which the audience sees a prisoner being tortured. The prisoner, kept on close watch by a shadowy Big Brother type, is there for reasons unbeknownst to the viewer. The band wanted to show everyone how he got there, but more importantly, to “cast doubt over his innocence,” according to the press release. The band wanted to create a question in the viewers mind: now that they know how the prisoner got there, they have to wonder if he deserves his sentence or not. Rob Shaw thinks of it as a comment on the nature of the experience of watching anything with characters.
“It’s funny how in stories, especially film stories, you tend to sympathize with whoever you spend time with. When you watch someone being mistreated, the assumption is that person is the victim. ‘Call Broken Arrow’ is in part about illustrating the prisoner’s culpability, but even that is in doubt as we see the Watcher character who follows him around slipping something in his drink at the end.”
The eerie video, animated by stop motion, features gruesome looking puppet figures, who reside in that sweet spot in the uncanny valley—almost human yet far from humanity—where they become truly creepy. There are no clear heroes in this story or this universe, that much is made visually clear by Rob Shaw. The fast tempo of the song seems to contrast the corpse-like pace of the video, to the effect of an feverish and restlessness atmosphere. Just like the video, this album will not disappoint.