Making its premiere here on ReGen Magazine is the new video from Sick Jokes, titled “Pop Goes the Vessel.” Blending elements of industrial/metal with the accessible melodies of electro-pop, the track is taken off the band’s latest EP, the imagery matching the song’s themes of excess reaching a boiling point symbolized as “a trip through the bloodstream” in the midst of a stroke; “We wanted to figure out a way to make a video during the pandemic, with all of us scattered around the world,” explains Sick Jokes guitarist/keyboardist Michael Madill, “So we called up our old friend Kevin Leeser, who used to do design and live visuals for us back in Detroit years ago.” Compiled from footage shot by the various band members in their respective parts of the world, Leeser then incorporated the images “into this glorious fever dream.”
“Pop Goes the Vessel” is the second track off of Sick Jokes’ debut MMXX EP, released in December 2020 via COP International. Produced by Madill with keyboardist Robert McMarroll, and mixed by Tony Hamera, the EP was recorded at various locations in Los Angeles, Detroit, Austin, and Normandy, France during the lockdowns of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the band explaining that “The vision was to write some good, heavy industrial music again,” and to provide a fun soundtrack for the apocalypse and make some “anxious, uneasy music” for a society that is full of these emotions. The EP features four original songs and five remixes, including one by legendary producer and COP International associate John Fryer; of the band’s signing, the label’s founder Christian Petke explains, “I was sold after the first eight measures,” specifically citing co-vocalist Plasmic as “a solid 1990 cyberpunk backbone, but her energy and attitude pushed it squarely into the 21st century.” Co-vocalist Sean Haezebrouck has worked with Fryer in his Black Needle Noise project; Haezebrouck drummer Kenny Wilson, Madill, and McCaroll have all been involved in various bands in the Detroit industrial underground since the ’90s, while Plasmic has built up her reputation as a prolific producer in Los Angeles. MMXX is now available to purchase digitally via Bandcamp.