Chosen by DJ Monk

The Uber Rock Approved stampDespite the ongoing lockdown in many parts of the Überverse, we are still receiving a healthy bundle of submissions for our coveted ‘Video Of The Week’ title. Many of them are produced against the background of continuing quarantine conditions in some countries, while others reflect artists being able to return and flex their creative muscles once again.

It’s probably quite appropriate that our winning entry this week comes from a country which handled the beer bug crisis with professionalism and positivity, resulting in it being one of the first nations to be declared pandemic-free. We’re talking, of course, about New Zealand, from where Ekko Park have delivered us of their new offering, ‘All Eyes On Me’, the first single to be released from their forthcoming new album, ‘Horizon’, which is due for release in the latter half of next month.

Vocalist Joe Walsh – no, not THAT Joe Walsh – explained the background to the single, which features a guest vocal appearance from Grant Nicholas of Welsh indie heroes Feeder:

“[It] was a reaction to me sitting in an airport bar and watching the very same news story being played out on four very different networks… four different tv screens… four different truths… and every eye in the bar transfixed… I felt like an extra in ‘Black Mirror’ or a living breathing Orwell novel…” 

An interesting sidebar for metal fans: the video – which features references to the Dakota Access Pipeline protests of 2016/2017 (which also inspired Lamb Of God’s ‘Routes’) – was directed by Ekko Park guitarist Alex Hargreaves and Kwasnik Pictures, who were also responsible for the video for ‘Kai Tangata’, the track that brought fellow Kiwis Alien Weaponry to international attention…

Something a lot simpler now, but, just like the man behind the song, it doesn’t need any overblown effects or extravagant production values to bring across the power of the track. We’re talking about Seasick Steve, and the video for his new single, ‘Church Of Me’, taken from his new album, ‘Love & Peace’, which comes our way later this month. As I said, it’s a simple little video, featuring just Steve singing and playing guitar (albeit against a series of rather nice scenic backdrops), but that is what makes it all the more effective, as it means that the message is very much in the music without any unnecessary distractions:

Our next video normally wouldn’t meet the criteria for this feature, but there is much more to DevilDriver’s ‘Iona’ than a mere lyric video: in fact, edit out the unnecessary lyrical transcriptions and it’s a very good video in its own right. It’s the second single to be lifted from the band’s forthcoming new album, ‘Dealing With Demons I’, which is due in October. As its title suggests the album is the first in a pair of releases with a common theme, that of frontman Dez Fafara purging or releasing long-held possessions. Fafara says of the song:

“[It} is unlike any other DevilDriver song we’ve put out. From the frantic verses to the haunting chorus, this song is another move forward to push our sound and the listener’s ears into the fray! The chorus, “she carries a black rose, effigy from a story closed”, tells the story of the long dead ghost of Iona and her obsession with death represented by the black roses in her hands – each one the soul of someone she’s taken from this life on a lonely dark road, assimilating their souls into black roses, which she carries for eternity. This theme relates to myself and “Dealing With Demons” in that, often times, we as people have a hard time “letting go” of things. This can be applied to relationships, death, and so on. Iona carrying the black roses symbolizes her inability to move on – always seeking revenge. The past is exactly that – the past – it’s important to let go and not be stuck in a perpetual loop of living in it.”

Another complete change in both musical mood and video style, as enter a world of ‘Guns, Drugs and Filthy Pictures’, as envisaged by the enigmatic cult trio by the name of Devil’s Witches. It is a weird trip, made up of mashed-together Seventies movie and TV clips, with the song itself lying somewhere between heavy psychedelia and freaky power pop. The result is definitely as “out there” as anything you’ll hear this year. The band sell out every pressing of everything they release, and no doubt they will do so again when the physical version of this new single emerges to coincide with the re-arranged Record Store Day on 29 August:

Our final video sees us ending proceedings in a bit of a punkish frenzy, thanks to up and coming British “dirty pop” boyband rockers Maggie Cassidy, who want us ‘Just To Know’ that they’ve released the second single form their upcoming debut EP, ‘Life Is Beautiful’, which itself is due to come our way at the end of the month. Vocalist Jamie Coupe tells us that the song is “about feeling trapped in the mundanity of a day-to-day routine and after a while that voice in your head creeps in and says ‘fuck it, burn it down, ruin everything, see how it feels.’ It’s that self-destructive urge to destroy everything you love just out of curiosity. I’m not *too* reckless and try to look after the people in my life, so it’s more of a fantasy. A what if.”

Well, there you go. That’s your lot for this week. Hope you have enjoyed the new sights and sounds we have brought to you this week. Until next Sunday, keep ‘er lit, keep ‘er between the hedges and #StaySafe…

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