Friday, May 28, 2010
Just had to discuss a great video by Melbourne band Eddy Current Suppression Ring called 'Rush to Relax'. Musically, this is balls out garage rock in that thrillingly scrappy and primal Saints/The Fall/Captain Beefheart-inspired tradition that flows amongst the finer practitioners within the post-punk revival, combined with a Devo/The Monks edginess in band presentation (mongoloid dance styles, bathrobes and face masks conveying a kind of blank, Nixon-era domesticated alienation). Good enough in itself. But the inspiring simplicity of the video and the sheer audacity of the extended song coda/movie epilogue that comprises its second half is something else unique and admirable in light of the thrill-a-millisecond/ADHD-oriented approach prevalent in the music video field. It shifts the standard low-budget pop clip into a abstract and timeless zone closer to world art cinema; i.e. the 'pillow shots' of Yasujiro Ozu, Michelangelo Antonioni's use of cinematic space and extended shots of deserted urban/semi-rural/industrial environments to convey alienation (The Eclipse, The Red Desert) or the nature meditations of Werner Herzog's early black and white films and documentaries (Signs of Life). This is not to suggest it's overly arty, though - the Super 8 home video approach of filmmakers Chris Middlebrook, Johann Rashid and John Huntley is far too humorous and down-to-earth for that, yet beautifully surreal and atmospheric all the same. Just a first class effort and inspiring to think of the sort of work being done in our own backyard geographically speaking.