The song is accompanied by a Maxim Kelly-directed video, which you can watch below. It’s the second song taken from their forthcoming album after last month’s ‘Welcome To Hell’.
‘Eat Men Eat’ was written by Black Midi bassist/vocalist Cameron Picton and tells the tale of a disturbing desert quest.
“The story starts in the desert with two men engaged in a desperate search for missing friends,” Picton said of the song’s inspiration in a press release. “Their quest leads them to a strange mining facility which, despite a dearth of natural resources in the area, opens its doors for even stranger hosts to welcome them.
“That evening, with zero sign of their friends, a massive feast is laid on by the mine’s cantankerous Captain, who performs a long speech encouraging all to indulge as this is to be the workers’ last night before returning to their families. With good reason for suspicion the protagonists feign gluttony and consume as little as humanly possible.”
He continued: “Unfortunately, as they later find, even that’s not quite enough. Night falls, they hide and as the workers fall comatose, the wardens, overseen by the Captain, make preparations to pump their poisoned stomachs. It turns out the purpose of the mine is to procure an excess of human stomach acid used in the production of a bastardised blood red wine, sold and loved in the region.
“After the wider conspiracy is revealed and upon realising their friends must be long gone, the partners decide they must destroy the facility. A spanner plugs the works however, as one of the men experiences mild effects of the poison and the production of acid in his stomach goes into overdrive. As his chest literally bubbles he says what may be his final goodbyes to his partner and the other man is left to do the heavy lifting alone.
“He succeeds and as they flee, arm in arm, the demon Captain erupts from the burning embers and curses the two men to the hell of crippling acid reflux for the rest of their days. They see no reason to worry though, as they’re sure to return home hailed as heroes.”
As Pitchfork notes, the single incorporates elements of Spanish Flamenco music including palmas (layered, rhythmic clapping), which was recorded by percussionist Demi García Sabat. The song features 50 fan-submitted recordings layered into the end of the track.
‘Hellfire’ is released on July 15 via Rough Trade.