Watch This If You Dare: Semi Precious Weapons – “Aviation High”

“When I see myself reflect on you, I know what I was meant to do…”

Would anyone be so kind as to tell me exactly what the fuck happened to Semi Precious Weapons? Before we go any further, you need to know three separate things. The first, of course, is who the hell Semi Precious Weapons are. They are – or at least were – a glam-rock band from the States, specialising in big, dumb riffs and bi-curious lyrics that resulted in two patchy but overall quite fun albums, We Love You and You Love You. Secondly, you should know that I’ve liked these guys from the very second I saw them, opening for Lady Gaga on her Monster Ball tour a few years back. Yes, they were ridiculous, but they played the part well and they had great fun with it. Thirdly: I try not to let personality or ego get in the way of a good song or a good album. Arseholes have made good music for ages, and that’s not going to change.

You got all that? Okay, great. Let’s go. This is a fucking awful song and a fucking awful video. I hated both with a vengeance. Any degree of liveliness or character has been thrown out of the window with this dull, thudding, greyscale piece of slow-jam glitter turd. They haven’t even progressed or developed their sound in this attempt to ditch their guitars for synths – there is no way a band played on this. We’re back to SPW being the vehicle for Justin Tranter, the band’s frontperson and figurehead – literally, there is a photo shoot of the band where the other three members are wearing masks of Justin’s face. Creepy.

The video, set mostly out in the desert, sees the SPW crew rock up and build a house out of essentially nothing. It’s based around aren’t-we-clever preening and sunset shots, and it’s basically the visual equivalent of ipecac. It really is a lot to stomach – especially as you struggle to figure out exactly what they’re going for here. Is it literally an expression of their delusions of grandeur – wanting a big-city life but living in the slums? Are they attempting to connect with “lesser” beings? I just… I dunno, dude. It’s going to take an absolute shitting miracle for their upcoming third album to not be the worst thing ever if this is what we have to go by.


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