Chosen by Monk

The Uber Rock Approved stampIt’s hard to believe that it’s been seven whole days since we last awarded our coveted ‘Video Of The Week’ title, and, despite the ongoing, and some cases renewed, lockdowns 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.

After careful consideration of the 100-plus submissions we once again received this week – and, yes, we did watch them all – our winning selection is something different from what you might expect, as it is actually very melancholic, yet also strangely uplifting, and wonderfully so. It comes from the Philadelphia power-duo Rise Twain and is the powerful ballad ‘The Range’, which is just one of those beautiful audio-visual experiences that catches you in your stride and makes you stop the world for its duration. Singer J.D. Beck told us the background to the song, which is taken from last year’s self-titled debut album:

“[It] is a ballad that speaks of survival. This survival, however, carries a price beyond that of mortality and ancestry. It is a reflection of a time when people fought in a common country upon uncommon ground, it is tears from the mother for her son that never returned, a promise of a father to his son or daughter to take hold of destiny, and the song of a soldier who survived. Memories carry cold across water while a warm hat remains – a remnant of that brother lost – all for a greater good. The penance of those left, the memories they must bare, and the forgiveness to carry on is all that remains. The grass drinks the war up and grows another year. It is a calling of peace beyond, unto silence, and a resounding echo into our current time.”

The accompanying video is suitably sparse but rich, driven by Beck’s powerful on-screen persona, which really helps to draw you deeper and deeper into both the song and the clip:

Our next selection is somewhat different musical follows a similar lyrical theme. It comes from pop punks Three Cheers Too Late, who are making a very welcome return to UR’s pages after their last appearance in August, when they propped up the bar of the Singles Club. Their latest offering, ‘Everything, Everyone’ is a powerful paean about coping with loss, and comes with a neat little video clip that encapsulates those feelings that many of us have of wanting to spend just a few more minutes with someone you love. It comes from the band’s forthcoming new EP, ‘Ernestine’, which is named in memory of singer Anthony Santiago’s grandmother, as he explained:

“There comes a time in life when everyone has to say goodbye to either someone or something they loved. Recently, I’ve experienced this after losing my grandmother due to complications from a surgery. Next thing I knew, I was saying goodbye. In that moment, and ever since, it has felt like the whole world I knew is different. As if the sun will never shine again. I have to learn what life is like without her.
“This idea of eventually having to say goodbye to everything and everyone you have loved is what inspired me to write Everything, Everyone. We all eventually have to learn this truth and understand that time stands still for no one. No one is indestructible. In the end, nothing lasts forever.”

There’s a loose thematic connection to our third and final selection this week, as it similarly addresses issues such as fighting personal demons – and the loss of the excitement of live gigs, a spirit which gothic punks Dead Girls Academy have sought to resurrect with their very flashy video to accompany ‘Agonize’, the latest single from their just-released ‘Doves In Glass Houses’ album. The album as a whole peels back the dense and emotional layers of frontman Michael Orlando, and it was his vision of the song’s interpretation, in association with director Scott Hansen (previously known for his work with the likes of Motionless In White and A Day To Remember) which helped bring this particular angst-ridden chapter to life, as the vocalist explained:

“We literally shut down the Hard Rock Café on the Las Vegas Strip. Scott had the vision of using a movie projector on my face and body, projecting occultist type images throughout. I’m known for publicly airing my dirty laundry through my lyrics, but with this song I really wanted to take those bottled up feelings from a toxic relationship and get them off my chest, once and for all.

“I wanted to venture back into my goth roots and create something close to my heart. I used to be bullied nonstop about the way I dressed and the makeup I wore. It was a constant battle! There were so many industry people and fellow artists that gave me a hard time about my stage name, ‘Michael Vampire,’ and the fact I tried to keep a mystique about myself. Nowadays, things have drastically changed for the better. You have artists like Yungblud, Palaye Royale, Ghostemane and even Machine Gun Kelly wearing makeup proudly! I felt it was time to bring back the old me with a 2020 twist and I am very thankful I did. I finally feel like myself again!”

Be warned: this video contains flashing imagery:

Well, there you go. That’s your lot for this week. Until next Sunday, keep ‘er lit, keep ‘er between the hedges and #StayTheFuckSafe…

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