Blitzen Trapper released the latest single from their upcoming Holy Smokes Future Jokes album, set for release on September 11. “Masonic Temple Microdose #1” explores themes of American apathy through the lens of a group of teenagers dropping acid at a masonic temple.
“This song is about American apathy and the nihilism that emerges from the bogus idea that personal freedom should be man’s ultimate goal, when in fact man’s ultimate goal should be ecological balance, all things follow from this,” frontman Eric Earley said in a statement. “Comedy and horror combine on this track, teenagers dropping acid in a masonic temple at the end of the empire, the American consumptive death-drive laid bare as a desire for extinction.”
The song includes an upbeat sound with peppy guitars and tone while commenting on apathy and materialism with lyrics like, “Your grandmother died and left a Mercedes Benz.” The catchy tune contrasts with the song’s lyrics, talking of breaking into a masonic temple at night.
Beginning with a blow-up Earth in front of a field, the video incorporates CGI images of material objects, from turned, over school desks to coffee cups and remotes for the TV. A large shoe sits on a desk while dice roll through a gas station as the song progresses, the imagery growing trippier as the guitar distorts to match.
The Oregan band mentioned they drew inspiration from George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo and Bardo Thodol (also known as the Tibetan Book of the Dead.) Earley incorporates various concepts from the books into Holy Smokes Future Jokes.
“All the ideas contained in that book were speaking to me in a lot of different ways,” Earley said in a statement. “The main theme that kept drawing me in when I was writing was what I call ‘cosmic humility.’ It’s the idea that humanity is not the center of the universe or even the center of our own universe here on earth. We’re not the most important thing.”
“Masonic Temple Microdose #1” is meant to be one of the lighter tracks on the album, focusing on the group of high school kids breaking in to drop acid. The band first announced Holy Smokes Future Jokes with the release of “Magical Thinking” earlier last month. Their most recent studio release was 2017’s Wild and Reckless. In 2018, Blitzen Trapper toured for the 10th anniversary release of their Sub Pop debut, Furr, performing the album in its entirety.