Old Favourites: The Drones – “Jezebel”

“I am not a camera, a man is not an effigy…”

Here’s an interesting one. The Drones have been one of my favourite Australian bands for quite some time, their blistering take on pub-rock tradition inspiring some of the greatest songs to ever be written by citizens of this great land. I include the song you’re about to watch as one of them, but I probably didn’t even come close to thinking that until I’d seen this video. Don’t get me wrong, I loved this song already – it’s the snarling, slow-burning opener to my favourite Drones record, Gala Mill – but it’s with this video that it goes to a whole new level.

The clip is almost entirely made up of old stock footage from a variety of places, from old movies to old television commercials. On its own, the footage seems to make no sense whatsoever – just random clippings and cuts stuck together. Put it with Jezebel, however, and it’s remarkably powerful stuff. It reflects every shift of dynamics within the song, to the point of it just being plain eerie. As the intensity of the song builds, so does the intensity of the footage – I’d suggest against watching the eye slitting if I were you – and when the final verse hits it’s not for the faint-hearted. The first time I watched it, I was sweating profusely from my palms, was sick to my stomach and was in tears – and the video hadn’t even finished. Strap yourself in, that’s all I can say.

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