Song of the Week: Puscifer’s “Apocalyptical” Dances Towards Doomsday


Song of the Week breaks down and talks about the song we just can’t get out of our head each week. Find these songs and more on our Spotify New Sounds playlist.

If you don’t think the last few months of isolation have changed anything, think again. In a normal time, Maynard James Keenan fans — fresh off the first Tool album in more than a decade — would’ve been satisfied with the first Puscifer single in five years. But a song only goes so far when it feels like you have all the time in the world, and Keenan seems to have tapped into that need. Not only does “Apocalyptical” come as a ready-made anthem for these troubled times, but Puscifer also decided to bestow upon fans the blueprint for an alternative dance craze and a memeable answer to whether or not bright, red lipstick is the shadowy frontman’s best shade.

The song itself features a methodical build with distorted and pinging vocals from singer-guitarist Carina Round. “Concrete conclusions be damned/ They won’t believe you/ Until it’s far too late,” she warns before the song’s signature thump arrives. It’s an interesting enough vocal exchange between Round and Keenan as the sonic textures of the track thicken, but let’s be honest. People are buzzing about this song because of the video that accompanies it. A ski-masked skater in a hazmat suit skateboards through the empty environs of an abandoned city, all while what appear to be corona virus close-ups float towards the viewer.

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But he’s not riding alone. Throughout the video, Round and Keenan, each dressed in black clothes, shades, and camera-stealing red lipstick, continue to pop up over the proceedings for closeups and Keenan, in triplicate, dancing to his own drum machine (did he do finger guns?). It’s a little like the Beastie Boys video for “Intergalactic” meets Kraftwerk meets the lippy opening to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. As one YouTube user commented, “I’ll need a couple decades to process this.” Another pondered if these are the types of hallucinations that COVID-19 fevers bring. It’s definitely one of those videos you can’t unsee, and it’s only a matter of time before we see the Internet follow suit with thousands aping Maynard’s makeup and moves.

For Fans Of: …head-scratching messages of portent during an already stressful, ominous time … you know, Maynard James Keenan fans.

Best Moment: There’s nothing so catching in this song that a teleporting, dancing Keenan will be overlooked, but there is a relatively clever gag where the frontman opens the gate to a giant warehouse and hands the skateboarder a roll of toilet paper. If only it was that easy to find something to wipe with these days.

Where to Go from Here: If you make it to the very end of the video, you’ll notice the following message from the band: “Puscifer Invasion – Prepare to Be Abducted/ New Album Fall 2020/ World Tour 2021.”

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