Last year, I wrote a bit about the Brooklyn-based indie rock quartet Russian Baths, and as you may recall with the release of their debut single “Ambulance,” the act comprised of Luke Koz, Jess Ress, Evan Gill Smith and Jeff Widner quickly received attention locally and elsewhere for a sound that the band has described as nodding at Big Black, 70s space rock, Big Muff and British post punk among others.
The band released their debut EP Penance last year through Good Eye Records, and the EP’s first single “Slenderman” is a brooding track that strikes me as owing a sonic debt to 90s alt rock/120 Minutes-era MTV and classic shoegaze, thanks in part to an alternating quiet, loud, quiet song structure featuring layers of shimmering guitars, a throbbing bass line and propulsive, tribal-like drumming with a rousingly anthemic hook.
Based on concept by Sarah Ver Hoeve and featuring her animation, the recently released video comes in advance of the band’s upcoming New Colossus Festival and SXSW showcases in March. And while being visually being reminiscent of Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing,” the new video features humanoid figures floating about in space along with enormous spiders. Interestingly, at point the video feels like being caught in the middle of a terrible and nightmarish trip without anyone to help you come down.