Void Of Vision’s ‘Ctrl Freak’ & The Nature Of Opinions

To coincide with the release of ‘Children Of Chrome‘ this week, Melbourne’s Void Of Vision dropped a music video for their song ‘Ctrl Freak‘.

First off, the song itself is really just the usual from the band, musically speaking. As far as the rhythmic patterns, guitar riffs, and vocals go, it’s just straight up Void Of Vision, with an added nu-metal flavour. However, it’s the track’s film clip that’s the main talking point here.

The video begins with the host of a fictional podcast/vlog – the Monday Morning Music podcast, a truly awful title if there ever was one – ragging on the band’s sound, debut album, and prior single, ‘//‘. The host clearly isn’t a VOV fan, saying that their metalcore/hardcore sound is just being churned out again and again from the Melbourne scene (and the Australian scene at large) of late. Which to be fair is quite the accurate observation. Anyway, I found the host’s criticism’s of Void Of Vision to be the band poking fun at themselves; being self-aware of their moniker, and not just seeing their sound as existing in a vacuum. Or at least, I really hope that’s the case, because otherwise, the band may need a reality check.

But whatever the case may be, things get quite iffy when the host’s stream & website gets hit by a DDoS attack, which is followed up by him getting an ominous phone call before being kidnapped and imprisoned inside of a computer by the band (presumedly) for his online shit-talking.

Now, this was the point where I went ‘Um, what the fuck guys?’

See, earlier this week one of our writers, Nick Dominko, reviewed ‘Children Of Chrome and gave it a score of 60/100 , saying it’s “a good record that sadly becomes forgettable once you hit the back half.” Nick also wrote that “VOV often relies on a very similar set of riffs, vocal patterns, and rhythms, amongst other things, all giving off a strong sense of sameness and repetition”, all of which I’m inclined to agree with, having listened to ‘Children Of Chrome‘ a number of times myself. Thus, by this video’s logic, can we assume that Void are going to abduct Nick and I and lock us up inside a computer, or some other such ironic fate, because we don’t blow smoke up the band’s asses and praise them until we’re blue in the face? No, probably not. At least, I hope not. I quite happen to like my freedom and hanging out with Nick at local shows is always a good time.

But the video’s narrative seems to suggest that anyone saying negative things about the band, in any capacity or extreme, are mere trolls, haters, or keyboard warriors and that these people need to man up and say it to their faces to justify their thoughtcrimes. Void Of Vision has seemingly branded anyone who doesn’t enjoy or adore their music in one big stroke of the self-defensive brush. (Well unless you buy their Reddit AMA, in which they say it was about SJWs instead.)

Also, it almost seems like this was the band jumping the gun in thinking that people would hate it. Is that perhaps indicative of the band’s confidence in their own art that they go on a pre-emptive defence? …I’ll get back to you on that one.

Now, of course, everyone has an opinion and while there are no wrong opinions per say, there can be misinformed or poorly thought out opinions. Furthermore, there are individuals – both online and in real life – who just like to stir up the pot, regardless of the art or subject in question. Then there are those who simply don’t give an ounce of a shit and will say what they really think, for better or for worse, via in-person verbal communication or from behind their computer screens and keyboards. Which, need I also remind people, isn’t some smoking gun argument to completely disregard one’s opinion simply because they presented it through a digital medium. But to VOV, these groups of people are all the same.

I think what’s perhaps most telling about all this is that I now no longer remember ‘Ctrl Freak‘ for the actual music. All I can think about now is how this video really rubs me the wrong way and gives off the message that if you speak ill of the band or don’t love them, then you’re instantly a hater, some form of dropkick, and that you probably kill small animals for a living (that’s hyperbolic, but you get the idea).

This a video clip that starts off being somewhat unique but soon cuts its feet out from under itself with the moral grey area of its message. Plus, if this is how the band treats their detractors, then just what the fuck do they do to their actual fans!?

Looking back at all this, I honestly feel like I’ve put far more thought into this than the band did and that’s never a good thing, so I’m done. For now.

Finally, to my family and friends – if you don’t hear me from over the next couple days, I can only assume that I’ve been taken as a hostage by the band and am now most likely trapped within the digital void (pun not intended). Please send help when able, cheers.

‘Children Of Chrome’ is out now via UNFD.

(Also, I’m very much aware of the irony in writing a big post online about this particular film clip. I’ve made my peace with that, no need to point it out, cheers.)

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