Words: James Frostick

Brisbane space-punks The Gametes are releasing the clip for their punchy ripper ‘The Man of Thumbs’ – a brilliant stop-motion animation that succinctly conveys the abject futility and depression-inducing monotony of corporate labour.

I find it pretty funny that this clip is coming out on a Monday. A lot of people – myself included – are strapping themselves in for a week behind the desk – chained to it, in a sense – ready to knuckle down for the five-day grind. I happen to really like my job, so work isn’t a chore. That’s not the case for everyone, though. It’s easy to imagine a world where I’m relegated to being a cog in a monolithic corporate machine. A glimpse into this nightmarish world is what where getting today with this new clip from The Gametes, entitled ‘The Man of Thumbs’ – a brilliantly executed visual accompaniment that is serving as a taster for the band’s upcoming album The Astronomical Calamities Of Comet Jones.

It’s taken The Gametes no time to whip a solid supportive fan-base in Brisbane over the past 12 months, thanks mostly to an entertaining blend of savvy and scuzzy punk and, to a lesser extent, some media attention. Following on from previous single ‘Star Surfer IX’, ‘The Man of Thumbs’ is a quick hitter – one minute and forty-five seconds, or thereabouts. It doesn’t leave much time for waffle, but thankfully waffle isn’t what The Gametes are about. It’s a pointed spray that tackles corporate greed – not in a profit-hoarding sense (but also not not that), but rather the toll it takes on those caught up in the inner workings of the entity. You know, the drones sacrificing time and energy for a minuscule slice of the pie. Those ultimately denied satisfaction by the faceless overlords, costing them their sanity. But hey, it’s all good as it doesn’t hurt the profit margins. The clip, created by Brodie Stephenson of Lichpin Studios, offers a surreal insight into that world, where a man is denied simple pleasures until his very being is torn apart. The central figure is a figurative man of thumbs, fumbling ineffectually to grasp happiness (in this case, a doughnut) before he snaps.

This is a fun clip, one that showcases a considerable amount of effort. Stop-motion is, after all, a slow and painstaking process. Give it a look:

The Gametes will be releasing The Astronomical Calamities Of Comet Jones through Coolin’ By Sound in August. Before then, you’ll be able to catch the band at Netherworld on June 28 when they play with The Ocean Party. The Gametes will also be hitting the road in the coming months. Keep you eyes peeled for details.