Music Video Review: Smallpools- Run With the Bulls

Almost two years removed from their first full-length album, Smallpools have perhaps slipped under the radar during their self-described “hibernation” that has consumed their summer and fall agenda. But Thursday at midnight, they came back in a big way. A few days before the release of the song, the band used social media to countdown until “12.1.16,” using only the phrase “Run with the Bulls” as a clue. Fans were left guessing—A tour? An EP? A single? “Run with the Bulls” turned out to be a 1.5 minute music video and track, which are now available on iTunes. The song is everything you’d expect from a Smallpools single, other than the length. Never one to skimp on length, the brevity is certainly unexpected. This is not to say there’s anything lacking. In fact, it’s almost as though they took the energy from a typical song (which is a lot) and condensed it, leaving us with a fast-paced, poppy slap in the face. It’s “Killer Whales” on Adderall. The video, however, is like nothing we’ve seen from Smallpools. With flashing lights and scenes that captivate the eye, it’s stronger and darker than anything they’ve put out before. Billboard describes it as “Paranoid.” Most of it doesn’t make sense, but it isn’t supposed to—the goal is to make you feel the discomfort described in the song. As someone who has directed, I admire the meticulousness that went into it. It’s about restlessness, and nothing about this video is calm. This is going to be a kickass song to see live, and we can only hope this release means the band is coming out of hibernation. Perhaps the bulls they run with will take them on the road soon. There are many ways to reenter the playing field, and Smallpools are showing us they’re ready to take it by storm. -Kelly Fox