By Jordan Mooney.
With thanks to Gina Clark, NES Game consultant… (all shall be revealed!)
Having originally been a promotional tool for such exotic things as television broadcast, the industry and market for music videos has very much transcended into video hosting websites giving a couple of hundred views; videos are cheaper to make than ever (unless you pull all of the stops out and produce something a bit mental) and, as a result, a lot of groups (mainly built of teenagers singing about exes in their undersized jeans) have started mass producing flat camerawork of themselves and their fop-haired buddies miming to a demo recording in their dad’s garage.
That’s not really our bag at Cat on the Wall, so we instead wish to showcase some of our favourite, unusual and often rather bizarre music videos of 2015 – and any that might have appeared already this early in the year (alright, just the one!) that work with relatively small budgets and create something entirely memorable. As usual, no specific genre, just unbridled creativity..!
The Red Paintings – It Is As It Was
The Red Paintings have become firm favourites in the Cat on the Wall repertoire and this little video is proof positive as to why. Perfectly representing the beautiful, albeit chaotic elegance of the band’s world. R2D2 backpack, outsized masks and a mournful, apologetic tone sets the scene that almost captures the stunning effects of them live on stage; not an easy feat. The drained tone to the camera and dark background really capture how colourful a project The Red Paintings really are in contrast, and frankly to anybody uninitiated we see it as a pretty solid pitch..!
And We Should Die Of That Roar – Nobody Cares
Hardy Hum is a creative force to be reckoned with; he’s got strong opinions and good reason for holding them, and Nobody Cares encapsulates the fear, trauma and passionate protest the entire project And We Should Die Of That Roar carries with it. It’s an impressive scope of video too; lots of atmosphere, tons of special effects and silhouettes of people long lost – and, if you look at it purely aesthetically? The grimy, dirty and well-timed set up will appeal to anybody.
Trioxin Cherry – Children Of The Damned
It’s no secret we love Trioxin Cherry; one of STP’s finest, and a beautifully kept low-fi feel with no lack in professionalism is the band’s lifeblood beyond just having really, really bloody good music. The simple idea of walking about when everybody’s pissed up in your home town not only sums up exactly what Children of the Damned is about, but makes a pretty cool visual, too. Rebecca and Pete’s dismissive attitude of what is effectively the worst kind of home-town chaos is not only relatable, but pretty entertaining to watch, too!
Fable Cry – The Good Doctor
Fable Cry. We love them. We really do. From their ashen faces to the twirly taches and distorted waltz, the group carry a very real twisted vaudeville that a lot of bands lay claim to but don’t quite manage. As if to up their own ante when it comes to theatrics, the group’s music videos are deserving of legendary status. It’s a hard pick for us, but, having shared Fancy Dancing to death, we’d like to draw attention to The Good Doctor.
Puppets. Bloody, gore flaunting puppets. It’s like a twisted Jim Henson nightmare, far beyond The Dark Crystal. And that film still makes kids wet themselves. Delve into the sheer psychosis of a latex-and-felt doctor as he builds up the culmination of a life’s work. Feel his hatred for his fellow man and his undying passion to create what lays upon the table. Join us in his triumph as the music rattles to an end.
Flash Bang Band – Spooky Action At A Distance
Flash Bang Band are grand purveyors of music video nonsense, and this is still one of the finest surreal, fluffy pink time capsules we’ve encountered over the course of 2015. It has all the eccentricity you’d expect from a marauding group of musical riffs who decide to hold a gig on a bus (no, seriously, they did that.) and it captures everything about the era it’s writing love letters to.
We also love that romping balloon poodle, and the fact we can still remember all of the lyrics since we featured it in June. Another of their finest carries inflections towards golden shoes, factory-worker conditions and hand-painted rice, so look for that too…
Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons – Get Outta My Face
It’s a late comer, and it’s perilously close to being another of those blasted performance videos; the difference is here you have great direction, a great track, a great looking band and, seemingly, a mission to brick you in with Pussycat and her cronies with no feeling of escape. This is effectively a true, home-grown punk video that’s made for relative coppers – and doesn’t have you feeling a bit of that relatively scant resource, all because of a set of born performers, ripping into you with so much continuous, breathless, kinetic furore…that by the end of it you could well be shaken to bits.
The feeling of surprisingly strong intimidation from the video’s self-imposed claustrophobic quarters is effective even to your intrepid writer; a man who has met them more than any other group to feature on the website.
Dirt Box Disco – Guest List
Dirt Box Disco are rapidly ascending a very tall ladder towards success – They look great, sound great, play great… the list goes on, and their increasing reputation precedes them more and more. And their music videos are often either hilarious or terrifying. Now, for ‘Guest List’, they’ve decided to do both. Stop motion animation is always a bit of a charmer, but for obvious reasons is often not a favoured choice for music videos for the sheer amount of time you’ve got to invest…
You could have the greatest stop motion animator in the world, and they’d never be able to replicate DBD’s energy, so the visage of a group of dolls twitching about might not inspire the same enthusiasm the group may immediately demand in person – it is, all the same, hugely entertaining, enjoyably bizarre and cheekily self aware – and in that sense does capture the band’s personality quite nicely. All of their videos are brilliant; and 2015’s offering is a fine addition to a growing reputation.
Jordan Reyne – Birth Ritual
Jordan Reyne is an artist of epic proportions, whom, after putting up with serious bullshit, over decades of purveying her trade from an uncaring industry, has decided to call it a day. She’s left a gigantic hole in the music world, and I think that hole is only growing as more people stumble upon her only to find how much they’ve missed; such is the power of a great performer.
Her final music video offering is Birth Ritual, a track from the third in her EP Trilogy of ‘Maiden, Mother Crone’, a project that studies the roles of a woman in the world throughout her life. Birth Ritual explores the overt sexism that hammers down on every facet of society, an enforcing dance that requires them to be attractive, titillating or impressive regardless of their views or goals in life. Built entirely of very well-chosen archive videos, it hammers the point home and gives a mournful, atmospheric and haunting melancholy that only Miss Reyne can provide in such quantities.
Jamey Rottencorpse & The Rising Dead – Addicted to Blood
Well, we didn’t say when we were starting from for the ‘past year’, did we?! With that excuse thrown out there and the score settled…
Jamey Rottencorpse and The Rising Dead are here to provide callbacks to those point and clicks (specifically the NES’ Maniac Mansion) you loved so dearly in your childhood with a rock and roll twist – booze bottles and tobacco strung about in equal quantities to the blood and skull masks you might normally expect from one of Undead Artist’s finest. It’s great fun, very colourful (which makes a change from most horror videos) and the entire thing feels like it’s only a minute long. Catchy, old fashioned music with an attention grabbing, old fashioned video. Luvverly job!
Right then, that should keep you all busy for a while… we’ve still got far too much chocolate to eat. Everybody at Cat on the Wall hopes you had an incredible Christmas and a Happy New Year, and we look forward to spending 2016 in your company. There’s plenty to come and only 365 days to cover it in… stay tuned!