Adam Smith and Marcus Lyall's latest for The Chemical Brothers is a shot of lightning from the arm - a maverick, Japanese sci-fi B-movie sent from the future. A mousey businesswoman transforms into an intergalactic superhero to fight craterous monsters, furry cyborgs and a robot wizard. And there's Aurora too, dressed like Robot Boy.Lyall and Smith’s video has the renegade spirit of a cult movie. There are shades of Kung Fury, the low-budget Youtube movie that spawned an entire genre. And also of Ed Wood, the eccentric 1950s filmmaker, who directed the camp classic Plan 9 from Outer Space (It’s nice to imagine that if Wood were resurrected today, handed a 4K camera and a box full of lycra, he would have tried to make Eve of Destruction).The real hallmark of a Chemical Brothers video is a frenetic harmony of music, choreograph and editing. This is a shining example. The video is exhausting in the best way: no beat, bar or lyric goes by without a punch, a strobe or a spark. The costume design is also top-tier. The characters are not only original and impressive, they are also charmingly homemade, with fantastic costume design by Katie Tabor.And the sheer directness of the direction is best explained by the relationship that Smith and Lyall have with Tom and Ed of the ChemBros. Individually the pair work on very different things: Lyall creates light installations in grand public spaces; Smith is the legendary director of the band’s own Galvanize, as well as some of the best-loved episodes of Doctor Who and Skins. As a team they have been making the band's distinctive live visuals for years. And the Eve Of Destruction video was originally created as visuals for their live show.Best live visuals ever?
Ned Botwood - 21st June 2019