It’s Eye TV’s final NZ On Air-funded video. They had 15 funded videos, which puts them on par with Garageland and Tadpole. It’s kind of nice that their final video was directed by Greg Page, whose music-video-directing career developed alongside Eye TV’s music career.
Greg previously directed “One Day Ahead” for the band, a stylish performance-based video. He takes a different tack with “Worse For Wear” going back to his roots in animation. He’d previously done claymation music videos (Shihad’s “Yr Head is a Rock”, Throw’s “Honeyblonde”), but those were done with a dash of humour.
“Worse For Wear” has the darker side of Greg’s creative vision, previously seen in the gothic mad-scientistic story in Throw’s “All Different Things”. It tells the story of a lowly cleaner (who works for the Worse For Wear cleaning company). In fact, with a title card reading “The Cleaner”, the narrative-heavy music video also effectively works as a short film.
It’s a scribbly grey world, with the animation done as simple black pen drawings on cardboard cut-outs, with slightly more detailed cityscapes and backgrounds. Wielding his mop like a paintbrush, Clive the cleaner gets to work on the murky grey walls, but they seem to dirty themselves almost as quickly as he can clean them.
Finally he gets the wall clean and it glistens with pristine whiteness. But now that everything is clean, what will Clive do for work? He cries dark grey tears and the teardrops plop on the floor and soon turn everything else grey. “All is well” appears on the wall. Clive leaves, content in the knowledge that there’ll be more work for him tomorrow.
“Worse For Wear” is a sweet, uplifting song but the lyrics are specifically a man addressing a messed-up woman. The video sticks with the same theme but moves it to the far more interesting scenario of Clive the cleaner and his tears of eternal employment.
Best bit: Clive’s work ID card – his ticket to happiness.
Next… bonus power round.