When a rock song is racing forward, guitars churning and drums pounding, there’s that exciting moment when it all feels like it’s on the edge of a musical precipice, and the slightest error would send everything collapsing to the ground in a cacophony of sound. Black International’s new single, “Shining Swords,” takes that moment of anxious exhilaration and stretches in out for over five minutes, in an epic swirl of rising and falling post-punk intensity. Racing along with the speed and ferocity of Big Business or Lightning Bolt, but combined with the almost shoegaze-style distortion of a Swervedriver, the Edinburgh two-piece construct a potent rocker, powered by Craig Peebles’ drums and Stewart Allan’s urgent vocals. “Shining Swords is an amalgam of Dunedin-inspired post punk and an interpretation of what Pink Floyd might sound like if they were actually Siouxsie and the Banshees,” Allan tells The A.V. Club. “We wrote it very quickly, one of those lightning-rod moments where the song essentially birthed itself.”
The accompanying video, premiering exclusively here, is a jarring and frenetic story, essentially a short film, that matches well the frantic vibe of the song. Director Stuart Condy follows the hallucinatory odyssey of a man who seems to be infected by some sort of media-birthed nightmare, beamed in from his phone. Once the guy’s eyes start going red, it seems likely things can only go downhill. But don’t worry, because by the end of it, he may be covered stains and trash, but he’s still got his corporate ID card. You can check out more from the band on their site, and the “Shining Swords” single will be released in November.