Rarely, it seems, does visual accompaniment directly reflect what’s spoken in a song—a literal interpretation. However, Doubting Thomas Cruise Control’s new video for “Nice Guy” off their Remember Me John Lydon Forever LP, can almost speak the song’s entire message without the music. The video, directed by Charles Hailer, is a commentary on the appearances of people, versus their underlying personas and agendas. The images consist of the band playing in “nice guy” costume, but they’re only visible through a hyper-condensed lens; a peep-hole, as though to bash us over the head with the fact that we can’t see everything. The band’s members appear all to be singing, though the only audible voice on the track is clearly that of frontman Bobby Cardos, adding to the notion of deceptive misidentification. The song itself jumps from a lighthearted picked guitar lead and matching vocal melody in the verse, to heavy, wailing distortion in the chorus, enacting the culminating final verse’s line, “first you act so nice, and then you stick the knife in.” The warbled trumpet towards the end distorts the video’s reality further, as the dancing bearded bassist’s red dress and piggish mask almost speak the lyrics themselves.
Remember Me John Lydon Forever is available now on Fleeting Youth Records.