Category: Video Review

New Video: Working Out with Pissed Jeans in “The Bar Is Low”

Comprised of Matt Korvette (vocals), Brad Fry (guitar), Randy Huth (bass) and Sean McGuinness (drums), the Allentown, PA-based hardcore punk/noise rock quartet Pissed Jeans can trace their origins to when the members of the band met while attending Allentown’s Nazareth High School. Bonding over their initial desire to create, as the band’s Matt Korvette has explained, “a different kind of punk focused on dead-ended carnal cravings, sexual depression . . .” and to “bludgeon the listener with dull, monotonous, droning rock music that just sucks the energy of out, the musical equivalent of watching a toilet flush.” And over the course of their 13 years together as a band, they’ve released several 7 inches and four, full-length studio albums, all which have cemented their reputation for crafting a sound that’s a sludgy, furious, and punishing cretinous, troglodyte stomp that subtly nods at The Stooges, The Ramones and 80s hardcore punk and post-hardcore bands — while evoking the deep primal urges of our reptilian sub-brains.

With the band’s recently released fifth, full-length album Why Love Now, the Allentown, PA-based band focuses on the mundane comforts and discomforts of modern life — from fetish websites to office supply deliveries; to the emptiness, confusion, dissatisfaction and convoluted nature of modern relationships and our contemporary world of hypocrisy and bullshit. As Korvette explains in press notes on the new album, “Rock bands can retreat to the safety of what rock bands usually sing about. So 60 years from now, when no one has a telephone, bands will be writing songs like, ‘I’m waiting for her to call me on my telephone.’ Kids are going to be like, ‘Grandpa, tell me, what was that?’ I’d rather not shy away from talking about the Internet or interactions in 2016.”

Why Love Now’s incendiary and furious first single “The Bar Is Low” will further cement the band’s reputation for crating sludgy and bludgeoning cretinous trogolydte stomp-like anthems in which Korvette’s guttural, Lemmy Kilmister-like growling is paired with with pummeling drumming, a throbbing and insistent bass line, and blistering guitar chords to evoke a knuckle dragging, slack-jawed Neanderthal on the hunt. According to Korvette, the song is “about how every guy seems to be revealing themselves as a shithead. It seems like every guy is getting outed,” Korvette continues, “across every board of entertainment and politics and music. There’s no guy that isn’t a total creep. You’re like, ‘No, he’s just a dude that hits on drunk girls and has sex with them when they’re asleep.’ Cool, he’s just an average shithead.” Throughout the song, Korvette and company point out that stereotypical concepts of straight male, masculinity is defeating, empty, and clownish.

Directed by Joe Stakun, the recently released video follows the members of the band at the gym; but they don’t know how to properly use any of the equipment. And while there, the band begins an absurd and ridiculous competition with other gym goers that ends up with a hilarious and horrifying conclusion.

New Video: The Playfully Ironic Visuals for Winstons’ “Without You”

Comprised of Lou Nutting (guitar, harmonica, and vocals) and Ben Brock Wilkes (drums, vocals), the up-and-coming Virginia-born, Brooklyn-based indie rock duo Winstons can trace their origins to when the duo met while working at Williamsburg hotspot and music venue, Baby’s All Right. And with the release of 2015’s Turpentine EP and Black Dust, the duo quickly received attention for a soulful, garage-based blues rock that sonically speaking seems to owe a debt to The Black Keys, and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, complete with a visceral and forceful earnestness — and for making a decided point in recording live to tape, with no touch-ups, no overdubs and no-retakes; in other words recording with the old adage, first thought, best thought. “Without You,” the A side of their “Without You”/”Enough” 7 inch will further cement the duo’s growing reputation for blues and garage rock that possesses an unmistakable immediacy — while in this particular song, a visceral
Directed by Buried Muse, the recently released video for “Without You” cuts between footage of the duo performing at Baby’s, hanging around and singing the song and running around all over Brooklyn — to suddenly encounter their dopplegangers looking back at them.

New Video: FYUTCH’s Hilarious Action Movie-based Take on Rejection

Harold Simmons II is a Gary, IN-born, New York-based (by way of a lengthy stint in Nashville, TN), emcee, singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, who writes and records as FYUTCH (pronounced Fi-yoo-tch). Simmons can trace the origins of his musical and performing career to when he initially began to receive attention as a public speaker, who had given speeches at a number of impressive and major public events — including Gary’s Mayor Scott L. King’s campaign banquet and on the steps of Congress. When he turned 17, Simmons formed Legendary Biscuits and Gravy a band in which he played alto sax and contributed vocals with friends, Eric Sexton (keyboard), Brandon Holt (drums), Wesley Winfrey (tenor sax) and Brady Surface (bass). The quintet received regional acclaim as they were nominated for Southern Entertainment Awards’ Best Indy R&B Artist of the Year in 2007. And over the subsequent two year period, the band saw a rapidly growing profile as they’ve been on bills that included nationally and internationally recognized artists including The Pink Spiders, Sam and Ruby, as well as opening for Kanye West, GZA and Nappy Roots.

Simmons relocated to Nashville and while using the moniker Future the Artist, Simmons released his self-produced solo debut The Sci Fly EP, which garnered a Nashville Music Award nomination for Best Urban Recording of the Year, which he followed up with his Overnight Mixtape series in which he wrote and recorded six mixtapes — with each mixtape being recorded during an overnight studio session and then released as a free download the next day. The mixtapes caught the attention of renowned site, Nashville Scene, who praised Simmons’ work; in fact, thanks to the growing attention he received, the fourth mixtape of the series found Simmons collaborating with the likes of Bun B and GLC. Additionally, as a solo artist, he has opened for Wale, Pharrell Williams, Little Brother and Afroman.

By late 2012, Simmons changed his name to FYUTCH after discovering that there was another artist who also went by the name Future, who was receiving quite a bit of attention nationally — and internationally. And since changing his performing moniker, Simmons has released several efforts including Mr. Flattop, which was executive produced by DJ Rob “Sir” Lazenby and featured guest spots from Mike Stud, Futuristic, Mello Rello, Whitney Coleman and production by G-Pop, Wick-it the Instigator and The FANS; a psychedelic hip-hop concept EP Peace, Love and FYUTCH which was produced by G-Pop and featured deeply obscure samples and world music percussion. Interestingly, “Funked Up,” the first single off his Philosophy of Love EP was produced by Solar Shield — and the single is a Dam-Funk/Thundercat retro-futuristic -leaning jam featuring shimmering, arpeggio synths and wobbling low end paired with Simmons rhyming and singing a hilarious and very true tale about approaching an attractive woman, who’s been attracted to for some time or has noticed for a little bit and being cruelly rejected for his efforts. On one level, the song is about having the blind courage to risk being made a fool of and being rejected; on another level, the song is a tell off to someone, who in the narrator’s eyes doesn’t see what kind of man he is; but also, the song can be viewed as an admission of how stupid and vulnerable love can make us. And Simmons does all of this in a slick and funky as hell, dance-floor friendly song.

Filmed by Wesley Crutcher, the recently released video for “Funked Up,” is a mischievous take on action movies — in particular, movies like Jumper in which the main character travels through time; in this case, the future FYUTCH winds up traveling through time to see a younger FYUTCH get rejected by one of his first love interests, while the older FYUTCH gets rejected by a love interest, who was sitting near the younger FYUTCH. Trippy, right? But at the same time, it’s goofy and hilarious take on rejection.

New Video: The Trippy and Mischievous Visuals for The Kills’ “Whirling Eye”

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site for some time, you’d be fairly familiar with the internationally acclaimed indie rock duo The Kills. And as you may recall, the band’s latest effort, Ash and Ice was the first album of new material from the duo in over five years — and from the album singles “Heart Of A Dog” “Siberian Nights,” and “Impossible Tracks,” the material off their latest album revealed a refinement of the sound that first caught the attention of fans and critics.

Fire and Ash’s fourth and latest single “Whirling Eye” continues in a similar vein to the album’s preceding singles as the duo pair tweeter and woofer rocking boom bap beats, layers of shimmering shoegazer rock-like guitar chords, a towering and anthemic hook and Mossheart’s imitable wail in a swaggering and bluesy song that builds up to stormy intensity — but much like their previously recorded output, there’s a palpable sensuality and sexual tension at its core.

Directed by Sophie Muller, the recently released music video for “Whirling Eye” was shot using several Go Pro cameras to create a 360º virtual reality video that follows the members of the band swaggering and strutting about in a variety of surreal and artistically shot scenarios and while giving the viewer an incredible amount of control to change camera angles at will and placing the viewer within the world of Mossheart and Hince, the video also manages to evoke the trippy sensation of the song’s whirling eye. (Please note, that in order to capture the 360º effect, you will have to view the video on Google Chrome.)

Comprised of three siblings, twins Alexis (bass) and Zandy Fitzgerald (guitar), along with their brother Darius (drums) and cousin Jasmine Mullen (vocals, guitar), The New Respects are a Nashville, TN-based blues rock act, that has been heavily influenced by the gospel music they were surrounded by — but also by a healthy amount of secular and pop artists including Aretha Franklin, Alabama Shakes, John Mayer and others. Produced by Leagues‘ Jermey Lutito, the Nashville, TN-based quartet’s debut EP Here Comes Trouble is slated for a March 10, 2017 release through Credential Recordings and with the release of the EP’s first single “Trouble,” which has seen recent placements on ESPN’s Major League Soccer coverage, Fox Sports’ Road To The Octagon and TNT’s NBA coverage, as well as praise from NPR World Music Cafe‘s Jewly Hight. And unsurprisingly, as a result, The New Respects’ debut EP may arguably be one of the most highly-anticipated EPs of the first few months of 2017.

Here Comes Trouble‘s second and latest single “Money” is a gritty yet funky and soulful that not only displays The New Respect’s genre-defying sound — a sound which effortlessly meshes blues, arena rock, pop and hip-hop; but it also reveals a band that has an uncanny ability to write an swaggering and anthemic, power chord friendly hook paired with a sinuous bass line, a darting yet funky guitar line, thunderous drumming and Mullen’s powerhouse, pop belter vocals. Sonically speaking “Money” will likely remind listeners of The Black Keys, Robert Randolph and The Family Band and others and while that would be a fair comparison, lyrically the song has struck me as an ironic take on “If I Was a Rich Girl” that not only points out that being filthy rich won’t buy you more time, nor would it buy you much in the way of happiness.  In fact, the song suggests two things that seem to be an anathema in our consumer world — that having money and a lot of possessions actually distracts you from life’s true purpose: to love someone else and to be here now.

Directed by Ry Cox, the artfully shot, recently released music video follows the members of the band as they break into the home of some rich guy as he’s away to play music and invite friends and other associates to the house, along with footage of the band languidly enjoying the fruits of greed and power as they sing the song’s hook. And while being kind of trippy, the video ends with the band disappearing before the rich man’s return.

The quartet will be opening for Robert and The Family Band throughout March. Check out tour dates below.

Tour

Supporting Robert Randolph & The Family Band

3/15 — Cincinnati, OH @ The Ballroom @ Taft

3/16 — Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom

3/17 — Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall

3/18 — Madison, WI @ Majestic

3/20 — Kansas City, MO @ Knuckleheads

3/22 — Fort Collins, CO @ Aggie

3/24 — Boulder, CO @ Fox Theatre

3/25 — Denver, CO @ Gothic Theatre

3/26 — Aspen, CO @ Belly Up

New Video: The Dark and Surreal Visuals for Vaarwell’s “You”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOl-f7-BhDA%5D

Comprised of Margarida Falcão, Ricardo Nagy and Luís Monteiro, the Lisbon, Portugal-based indie pop trio Vaarwell, derives their name from the Dutch word vaarwel, which translates into English as farewell — and since their formation back in 2014, when the members of the band met at a music production class, the up-and-coming trio have received attention in their native Portugal and internationally with the release of their debut EP Love and Forgiveness, which revealed a sound that paired ethereal and delicate melodies with minimalist instrumentation and production. Adding to a growing profile, the trio had been included in 2015’s FNAC Best New Talent Compilation, named Tradiio’s “Artist of the Week,” played at the renowned Portuguese music festival NOS em D’Bandada and more recently commissioned by French designer Philippe Starck to write and record a track for his exhibition at the Groninger Museum during this year’s Eurosonic Nooderslag Festival.

“You,” the achingly melancholy and gorgeous, first single off the Portuguese trio’s forthcoming full-length debut Homebound 456 will further cement their reputation for pairing Falçao’s tender and ethereal melodies with a minimalist production featuring warm and soulful keys with subtle industrial clatter, fluttering electronics and shimmering guitar. And while sonically speaking, the song reminds me of Flourish//Perish-era BRAIDS, the song has a narrator who spends a significant portion of the song self-flagellating herself for getting herself fooled by someone she shouldn’t have, who has hurt her in an egregious fashion — and as a result, the song possesses a visceral sense of confusion, bitter heartbreak and desperate searching.

Featuring production work from the Playground Production Company, the accompanying video further emphasizes the brooding contemplative feel of the song, as the video has the trio sitting in a deserted, late night parking lot while a human-sized teddy bear stalks and stomps around nearby. And as the band’s frontwoman is seemingly focusing on some past event or situation and caught within her own revelry, the teddy bear stomps around — without anyone treating it as out of the ordinary; in fact, even the bandmembers quickly treat it as a feverish figment of the imagination.

New Video: Swedish Dream Pop Sensation Linnea Olsson Takes You to Hell — and Back in New Video

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of months, you’ve likely recall that I’ve written about Swedish singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Linnea Olsson. After collaborating with Peter Gabriel, Sting, Ane Brun and Maia Hirasawa., Olsson quickly established herself as a go-to cellist; however, the Swedish singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has recently begun to receive international attention for her self-described cello-driven fantasy pop.

“The Weekend,” which was released at the end of last year, was a swooning track featured Olsson paired a gorgeous and lush, classical string arrangement with highly modern and ironic lyrics describing a neurotic and delusional narrator, who escapes into her own revenge fantasies. And yes, Olsson’s latest single “Hall of Tragedy” will further cement her growing reputation for crafting swooning and gorgeous pop, and for her equally beautiful and plaintive vocals; however, while “The Weekend” possesses a quirky mischievousness and an atmospheric chamber pop quality, “Hall of Tragedy” pairs that atmospheric chamber pop sound with a brooding seriousness reminiscent of Ocean Rain-era Echo and the Bunnymen.

Featuring Olsson’s stop-motion animation, the recently released animated video is according to Olsson an “apocalyptic children’s book video for grown-ups” that manages to illustrate what falling into deep, unyielding depression would feel like from the song’s narrator’s perspective. And as a result, it adds a deeply visceral and haunting feel to the proceedings.

New Video: Introducing the Classic Jazz and Pop Sounds of Up-and-Coming Atlanta-based Artist Betti

Betti is a mysterious, up-and-coming, Atlanta, GA-born and-based jazz/pop vocalist, who has started receiving attention for a sound and aesthetic that nods heavily at Billie Holiday, Amy Winehouse, Ella Fitzgerald, and burlesque; or in other words, for paring equal amounts of grit and grime with an old school elegance as you’ll hear on her debut single “Ordinary,” a single inspired by her own experience, with honest, messy and confusing, real-life love between equally messy, confusing real people. As the Atlanta-based artist explains in press notes “I think it’s important for people to know that the Hollywood impression of intimacy isn’t reality for every day life, especially when it comes to relationships. Every couple goes through ups and downs, and in that rollercoaster, we’re all the same, we’re ordinary.” And while clearly saying that within every relationship we bring our own dysfunctions, messy pasts, doubts, fears, heartaches and egos, and as a result, relationships can be simultaneously confusing, infuriating, joyous and hilarious, it also subtly suggests that in our relationships, we frequently find ourselves drawn to people and situations that we can’t explain.

The recently released music video is a slickly produced and edited –and dare I say, fitting? — take on burlesque and glamorous 40s Hollywood; but while emphasizing the dysfunction at the core of the song’s central relationship.

New Video: The Frenetic Visuals for Alexander F’s “Call Me Pretty”

Best known as a co-founding member and co-primary songwriter of renowned indie dance pop/indie funk act and JOVM mainstay Rubblebucket, Alex Toth’s side project, Alexander F, which features Steve Marion, Dandy McDowell. Christian Peslak and Noah Rubin as part of the project’s touring band, along with contributions from Kimbra is a decided change in sonic direction for him. Reeling emotionally after the suicides of a couple of musician friends and struggling with living as recovering alcoholic, Toth went to an eleven day, Buddhist, silent meditation retreat in Quebec. And as the story goes, during the retreat, a handful of Buddhist-themed experimental punk songs exploded in Toth’s head — and as a jazz-trained musician, it was a rather unexpected revelation. Now, if you had been frequenting this site towards the end of last year, you may recall that I wrote about “Swimmers,” off Alexander F’s self-titled debut, and from that single Toth and company revealed that his newest project would specialize in infectiously anthemic, frenetic and stompingly boisterous, pop-leaning take on punk rock — while in the case of that particular single, a mischievous take on the concept of prenatal memory in which the song’s narrator imagines how it must have been to be sperm swimming towards an egg to fertilize it.

The self-titled album’s third and latest single “Call Me Pretty” is a decidedly off-kilter yet rousingly anthemic track featuring guest vocals from Kimbra that sonically seems to owe a debt to New Wave and punk rock, with a neurotic and frenetic energy at its core — and in some way, to my ears at least, the song seems like what I’d imagine if Talking Heads randomly decided to cover A Flock of Seagulls. (In the alternative facts universe, indeed, right?) Lyrically, the song evokes the cripplingly neurotic self-doubt, shame and confusion of the song’s narrator, who despite his every effort, has begun to realize that he can’t run from himself — or his own foolish mistakes. And in someway his only hope is that his friends and lovers will ignore him and his perceived ugliness and unworthiness by “shutting their eyes and calling him pretty.”

The recently released music video for the song employs a relatively simple concept as it captures Toth and his backing band playing with a frenetic, unhinged energy — while nodding at the fact that being defiantly, proudly weird and loving music and art, and participating in music and art are the best way to resist.

New Video: Tinariwen Reminds Us That Music is a Mighty Weapon

The recently released music video for “Sastanàqqàm” is reportedly inspired by real life events. When the members of the band returned to their homeland in 2006 they spent some time wandering around looking for old friends, associates, family members, neighbors and the like. Roughly 1,000 miles away from their homeland in Northern Mail, the members of Tinariwen came across six young musicians who hailed from M’Hamid el Ghizlane. These boys were the only boys that the members of the collective came across during their visit; but they immediately saw a reflection of themselves, their dreams and aspirations in the music they heard the boys play. In the subsequent years, the boys from M’Hamid el Ghizlane learned the Tinariwen catalog note for note, word for word although they couldn’t speak a word of Tamashek. When the members of the band returned to the town to record the material, which would comprise Elwan, their disciples had displayed a mastery of Tinariwen’s catalog — and the members of the band recognized that they had passed the torch on to their young disciples; in fact, the band decided to invite their disciples to be in the music video for “Sastanàqqàm,” symbolically standing in for the members of the band. The video follows as some of Tinariwen’s elder members wrapped new turbans around the heads of their young disciples, symbolically marking the passage from boyhood and manhood; but also marking how music can be transmitted across generations and influence young men and women to pick up instruments and speak truth to power. Let that serve as a reminder that music and art hold great power — a power that even the most autocratic demagogue can’t possibly stop.