Watching Grady Strange’s music video for the first song on their debut record, it’s easy to see their inspiration. The gangster vibe feels right out of The Sopranos or GoodFellas. But, there’s a distinctly strange twist: railing against the system that sets the whole story in motion.
The homage to the classic tropes while subverting expectations by making it slightly more modern feels very Pulp Fiction. Even the opening bars carry a jazzy vintage noir feel before quickly transitioning to an unmistakable rock tone.
“As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a wise guy,” our protagonist tells us. As he orders his meatball sub, the mood shifts with a phone call. The first sung line, “You never look me in the eyes when you lie to me,” kicks off the real story.
The “story” interrupts the song at key points, breaking the fourth wall to talk directly to the audience. And at the end, they break it even further with a behind-the-scenes audio clip tying video’s tonality to the production process.
Exaggerated ritardando phrases and grainy guitars feel like slo-mo scenes and gritty aggression synonymous with this film genre. In fact, the whole piece is more like a mini-movie than a standalone single, which makes it infinitely rewatchable.
Watch “Karma’s A Gun” below.
Ben is an advertising Madman who spends his days with words and music. When he’s not writing for his supper, he’s eating it at some of NYC’s most interesting restaurants.