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Fresh Takes: Punk Rock Meets Impending Apocalypse in ‘21st Century Failure’

In this overloaded, 2D animated, non-stop neon music video, musician and animator Xeth Feinburg berates the modern world with his snappy brand of psychedelic garage rock. 

In our latest Fresh Takes, we share with AWN readers 21st Century Failure, a chippy, grin-inducing 2D animated music video created by Xeth (Xeerox) Feinberg for his psychedelic-garage-art band, The Prefab Messiahs.  Feinberg’s video is a poignant, angsty, punk-rock foot tapper that riffs rather snappily on modern society’s foibles, with a special nod to COVID-19.

In the video, the band laments today’s pressing problems, such as “Get a new disease when you hear a sneeze,” and “Trusted all the crooks now the earth is cooked,” all set to flashy neon scribbles and quick, pulsing, bright colors marching along to a nice, snappy beat. The imagery, combined with the all-too-relatable lyrics, invigorates by creating a feeling of brooding introspection.

Feinberg has served as the band’s songwriter, musician, producer and animator for “a real long time… like decades,” achieving “remarkable success at remaining almost completely obscure.” Nothing beats modesty in an artist. According to the filmmaker, the animation for 21st Century Failure was created “in good old Flash CS3 in about two days.” More important, however, was the message behind the video. “There’s a lot to be SAD about these days… but also a lot to be MAD about.” He’d been “puttering around on this particular song for about six months or so when all this new horrible stuff hit the fan and it unfortunately seemed more relevant than ever.”

Relevance and relatability is what we truly need in times like these. Watching the video, it’s clear that we are all in this big disastrous ride together, and just need to look at our shared experiences to get through it.  Feinberg says, “I figure this song is for those moments that only a ranting, post-punk-psych-garage-pop-rock animated video can help.” We think we could all use a little more punk rock right now.

For more information about Xeth Feinberg and The Prefab Messiahs, visit their websites and social media:


Laurén Alexa's picture

Cybersecurity specialist by day, investigative journalist by night.