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  • Tiana Speter

RedHook Spotlights Important Messaging In Spicy Alpha Wolf Team-Up 'Cannibal'


 

CONTENT WARNING: This article touches on themes of Sexual Violence. If you, or anyone you know, are affected by the issues discussed or need assistance, please contact 1800RESPECT, or dial 1800 737 732.


A lot can happen in the space of a week in the music industry, and for Sydney heavy genre mutants RedHook, a week can bring an absolute banger of a new track, Cannibal, complete with some Nine Inch Nails goodness and oodles of sensuality featuring an Alpha Wolf collab; and it can also get you heavily censored.


Releasing Cannibal late last week, the voracious energy lining the latest RedHook endeavour was fearlessly spearheaded by frontwoman Emmy Mack, with the talented frontwoman crafting a NIN-meets-WAP-performance, while also poignantly seeking to empower herself and others following Mack's harrowing sexual assault experience that inspired the band's 2022 track Jabberwocky.


Alongside releasing Cannibal, which is undeniably one of the best songs of 2024 to date even based on sonics alone, Mack also penned an extremely intimate and eye-opening piece for Rolling Stone earlier this month, unpacking the realities of writing and releasing an empowered metal anthem that also celebrates all things consensual and sensual as a SA survivor.


Completing the "horny metal song about oral sex that people can fuck to", as Mack described the track in the accompanying press release, Cannibal also came armed with a fittingly salacious music video, with team RedHook bringing the fire along with Alpha Wolf's Lochie Keogh and a bevy of extras.


From Mack's explosive vocals diving into the chorus, declaring "I wanna eat you like a cannibal" in the same vein as Nine Inch Nail's Closer, to the track's overall content matter, anyone who came to view a music video for a song titled Cannibal and expected something squeaky clean clearly needs to check a dictionary from time to time. But the even bigger red flag in this scenario is the fact that the band have since been forced to heavily censor their music video, with director and editor Colin Jeffs of Ten of Swords Media working alongside the band to dance around censorship conditions.


It is not the existence of censorship that is the issue here, though. There are things in place for various reasons, and obviously no one here is willfully gunning to corrupt your children or entice anyone into some evil trap. Instead, a celebration of sexuality from a female perspective, and an independent band, has been forced to water itself down, with Mack's Rolling Stone article hauntingly foretelling the potential for this very reality, also highlighting Mack's hesitation at the potential for judgement or slut-shaming from conservative metalheads and/or fellow SA surivors. Meanwhile Tommy Lee's penis can stay online on social media for hours, and multiple music videos showcasing scantily clad women in displays of blown male-gaze fantasy are left untouched. More power to any female who may be part of the latter category by choice, this is definitely no witch hunt. But the outrage doesn't seem to affect an outcome regularly for higher-profile artists, particularly if they're male. Let's not forget, Cardi B's forced clean-up of WAP for broadcast meant that any fan who only saw the censored version wouldn't even know what the song title actually stood for. If we want to keep things age-appropriate or broadcast-friendly, maybe the issue here isn't the artists. If you're not into it or you don't want your kids watching things not suitable for their age bracket, there's no gun to anyone's head to consume any media. It comes down to two pretty basic things: choice and education. And adding to that fact, this situation also showcases that there's teaching moments in everything, including the potential opening of largely taboo discussions that are front-and-centre on Cannibal that many women have never been able to talk about publicly in the past, for fear of shame, judgement and more.


Regardless of the accompanying issues RedHook have tackled surrounding its release, Cannibal is hands down another incredible track from this beloved bunch, with its infectious industrial additions oozing over its metal underbelly. And it's also a release that showcases two of the undeniable rising stars in the Aussie heavy music world right now, with Alpha Wolf also on a sharp rise as they blast on from the release of their recent album Half Living Things.


In the words of Marty McFly, "I guess you guys aren't ready for that yet". Perhaps the next gen will be able to bring back the uncensored version of Cannibal one day when they're all grown up. But for now, check out the heavily redacted version below:




Cannibal is out now.

For more RedHook info, head here.




 



BY TIANA SPETER


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