Tag Archive | Video

Video Clip of The Week: Black Belt Karate, “Transformer”


At a time when I can’t even bear to turn on the radio for fear of being exposed to whatever mortifying horrorshow that’s passing for popular music, LA-based rock quartet Black Belt Karate are like oxygen in a vacuum. Being schooled veterans of many and varied rock projects (guitarist Jason Mezilis also plays in Owl with Cult bassist Chris Wyse) BBK deftly blend power pop hooks with a classic rock edge to deliver addictive tunes that will appeal to fans of Sloan, Green Day, Foo Fighters and Cheap Trick.

The very fun clip for “Transformer” — a buoyant anthem with a positive message of self-realization — sees the band auditioning for a casting director in front of a backdrop that makes it look like they’re part of a police line up. Interesting! The video takes on a bit of a “Sharp Dressed Man” feel with its interspersing of sassy video babes and clips of the band rocking out. You can see that lead vocalist Ryan Hanifil is just dripping with Rock Star charisma. Rumor has it that they also occasionally perform as a Doors Tribute band. Excellent.

Keep up with Black Belt Karate’s music, news and live performances by following them on the FaceBook at This Link. Enjoy!

Black Belt Karate Band

Black Belt Karate Are: Ryan Brown (Drums), Harry Ostrem (Bass),  Jason Mezilis (Guitar) and Ryan Hanifil (Vocals).

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Video Clip of The Week: Romero, “Take The Potion”



Stoner-metal riff monsters, Romero, have revealed their tongue-in-cheek new video for the title track from their recent album, Take The Potion. I’ve never really played video games but I can certainly appreciate this hilarious and spot on parody of the 1980’s NintendoLegend Of Zelda 8-bit video games. This video is a combination of classic 8-bit in an almost stop-motion style that is animated frame-by-frame — similar to the process originally used by South Park, which can be very tedious and time consuming!

The funniest thing is that this video made me recall a one-off band called The Advantage that, in 2006, made a record of covers of Nintendo Game Theme Songs. So genius.

Coincidentally, the video for “Take The Potion” was directed by Aaron Romero (no relation to anyone in the band, as none of them are named Romero), who has recently directed videos for Wolf Bites Boy, Iron Reagan, Rebel Flesh, The Renfields, and Ratbatspider. “Take The Potion” is a kick to watch and it’s refreshing to find a heavy band that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Visit Romero on the web and download their music at Romero is Loud Dot Com. Enjoy!

Romero Take the Potion CD Cover
Romero Take the Potion CD Cover

Video Clip of The Week: Wray, “Relative”



I’ll tell you, what I like right away about this highly atmospheric video from Birmingham, Alabama’s Wray is the simple setting: just the band playing against a projection screening in a big, empty warehouse lit only by strobes and a few scattered light effects. I feel like I’m watching them perform at my own private rave!

The sound that this trio captures for the single “Relative” is the pure essence of ’80s arty post punk ala Wire Train and Bauhaus. I don’t think that there is higher praise to be given than that type of comparison at this time when mediocrity is feted and style is celebrated of substance every step of the way. Perhaps a bit of of the credit for Wray’s awesomeness is owed to engineer Daniel Farris (Man Or Astro-man?, St. Vincent, Polyphonic Spree, Verbena) but he certainly couldn’t add such a glorious sheen on top of a sound that wasn’t brilliant to begin with.

Catch Wray playing live during the CMJ Music Festival at New York City’s Lit Lounge on October 22nd! Enjoy!

Wray Band
Wray is David Brown, Blake Wimberly and David Swatzell

Video Clip of The Week: “Tame Impala” By Sunflower Bean

There might not be a more ingeniously clever way for a new band to get their song noticed than to name that song after one of the arguably best/most popular bands on the planet right now. Of course, I’m talking about Tame Impala (AKA Tim & Paula). Being all awash in fuzz guitars and psychedelic feedback, the Sunflower Bean tune “Tame Impala” serves as an emphatic homage to Kevin Parker’s Australian hypno-groove project, whether or not it actually has anything to do with that band. Like I’m saying, what a great marketing ploy!

This video might be best experienced if you still have an acid hangover from last night, but even if you’re stone cold sober you are going to appreciate whoever had the idea to drip what looks like a hot vanilla pudding over a shelf full of sports trophies, after raiding the inventory of prism tape wallpaper from the local art supply store. Strobe lights, mid-1970s Black Light Posters and a Plasma Sphere all purchased from Spencer’s Gifts at the local Mall complete the scene. I could watch this video all day!

Lead vocals on “Tame Impala” are shared alternately by guitarist Nick Kivlen who maintains the mellow, head-trippy vibe and bassist Julia Cumming, who adds her own punk edge. We also appreciate how the song takes off on a Black Sabbath-inspired Stoner Rock sojourn around the 2:26 mark. Heavy. And please note that drummer Jacob Faber bears a striking resemblance to a young Neil Peart! Ah, there is just so much to like about this young (teenage, even), Brooklyn based rock trio!

No word on a new /upcoming album just yet, but you can be their fan on FaceBook at This Link! Enjoy!

Sunflower Bean Band
Sunflower Bean — The Band

Video Clip of The Week: “Era” by Fiancé


It must be said that we were instantly charmed by the lush pop fugue of Fiancé’s “Era” – a shoegazery sonic delight that endures for nearly five full minutes! Apparently, this Delaware-based quartet that have yet to release an album are already drawing comparisons to Tame Impala — high praise indeed — but I think the nod indicates more that Fiancé are doing something worth listening to than that they are jumping on an aural bandwagon. The sound is too confident and too retro for that. Visually, the live performance footage filtered through a mirror ball haze is all you need to complete the package, but the band throw in an Easter egg of inter-cut footage of a teenage girl in a white party dress enjoying the late days of summer before possibly meeting a sudden and violent end? You’ll have to ask the band what that is all about.

Fiancé will release their debut EP, appropriately titled EP1, on October 7th via SQE Music. The EP — recorded to quarter inch tape on a Tascam 388 tape machine, which totally demystifies why it just sounds so effing good — will be available digitally and on vinyl and can be pre-ordered in the SQE Online Store. Enjoy!

Fiance Era
EP1 Cover Art

Video Clip of the Week: Little Barrie, “Bonneville Ride”



If somebody asked me to name my three current favorite bands or artists – and, trust me, no one ever asks – I would say that they are: Australian Psychedelic Rock Project Tame Impala (aka Tim & Paula, who are just the Best), American singer/songwriter Kurt Vile (whom I consider to be a modern-day Bob Dylan) and British Rockers Little Barrie, whose 2012 release, King Of The Waves I reviewed very extremely favorably. But yeah, those are my Top Three.

I don’t often review albums these days, because, no time. But I do review the videos. So, imagine the level of ecstatic delight I experienced when Little Barrie’s publicist hipped me to the band’s latest viddy for a heavily-steeped-in-cool song called “Bonneville Ride.” Oh my, I do love this video.

Shot on Super 8 film so that it resembles a home movie from my childhood, “Bonneville Ride” is constructed visually around original footage of Little Barrie bassist Lewis Wharton’s father, also named Lewis, racing grasstrack motorbikes in the early – mid 1970′s. (Lewis senior is the gentleman hanging off the sidecar of number 69).   Watching this clip feels like you are dreaming, or watching someone else’s dream. And I suspect it does not get much better than that. There are also a few clips of the band performing — and they are so good live. Aurally, the song is confident enough to let Wharton’s slinky bass line take the lead for a sweet ride that’s more akin to a mood-inducing flashback, or a slice of life, than a mere pop tune. In a word: Sublime.

“Bonneville Ride” comes from Little Barrie’s fourth album Shadow, which was released this past May on Tummy Touch Records. Like all of their albums, it is excellent listening. Enjoy!

Little Barrie Band 2014
Little Barrie are: Lewis Wharton (Bass), Barrie Cadogan (Guitar/Vocals) and Virgil Howe (Drums)

Video Clip of the Week: The Allah-Las, “501-415″



It wasn’t until I heard “501-415″ by the cleverly-named Allah-Las that I realized how much Kurt Vile sounds like a modern day Bob Dylan. And I mean that in the most complimentary way possible. Because Kurt Vile is the Shizznit.

It makes sense that this band is from Los Angeles, especially since NPR‘s review offers that “The vintage sounds of Allah-Las combine the harmonies and hooks of the British Invasion with the atmosphere of a West Coast psychedelic band.” This 1 minute 45 seconds bit of sonic bliss just captures the dreamy aspect of a California lifestyle so perfectly. Their bio even mentions the members meeting while working at Amoeba Music in LA. So yeah, there are no accidents. The video looks like it was tons of fun to make as well, giving them the chance to use eclectic props like a dessicated cow skull and a Pinata. Fun!

Allah-Las‘ second album, Worship The Sun will be released on September 16th on the Innovative Leisure imprint. You should buy it. Like them on the FaceBook at This Link. Enjoy!

Allah Las Band
Photo Credit: Wesley Herron