Toronto’s newest supergroup, LIDS, featuring members of Metz, Holy Fuck, and The Constantines, just released their debut 7” on Telephone Explosion, and their first single, and subsequent video titled, “Sarsfest”, is a heart attack of coarse and confounding sonic elements, unrelenting in its structure, yet mechanically moveable in the barebones melody and haunting chant-like vocals that permeate through the steady, bordering on overbearing, beat.
The video is dubious in its intention, whether funny or discomforting. It consists of variations of lead singer Brian Borcherdt being slapped in the face repeatedly—with just about every beat—discolored in different negatives, ever-changing, against a strobe backdrop of obscure and comic images—some pop-culture, some cult, some weirdly homemade (included, unbelievably, is that one of the dude with the Earth Crisis full-face tattoo!). Borcherdt commented on the concept for the video over email, saying, “the video is sort of just taking one for the team—for everyone! Getting slapped over and over again…Cuz someone out there definitely deserves it.”
According to Borcherdt, the title of the track refers to an awkward moment in Toronto’s cultural history. “…one of our [Toronto’s] only successful Summer festivals was brilliantly dubbed Sarsfest—the festival drummed up to invigorate the city after the SARS epidemic crushed our tourism and crippled local business (apparently)…we’ll have a great time reminiscing about the year the city got sick from a deadly respiratory virus”