October 2006: Solaa, Steriogram, The Chalk, The Exiles, The Have, The Reduction Agents

Pool party! And fun with office supplies, flaming flames, graffiti, the idea of desiring machines, and a big rock video.

Solaa “Sylphlike”

Like a lot of videos uploaded to YouTube at the time of their initial release, this one is in a low resolution. That means all the lavish graphics and designs in the video (created by director Mark Trethewey graffiti artist Askew1) aren’t always clear. But even in with the dark, pixelly version, it’s obvious that cool, moody visuals have been created for the cool, moody song.

Director: Mark Trethewey
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Steriogram “Own Way Home”

I feel like Steriogram are trying to leave behind the sometimes novelty rock of their previous album (e.g. “White Trash”) but in doing so¬†they’ve turned into a less enjoyable version of Deja Voodoo. The “Own Way Home” video is a big rock video. When Deja Voodoo gleefully run through all the rock cliches it’s over-the-top fun. When Steriogram so it, it just feels lazy.

The Chalk “Get Up”

Who was The Chalk? They seem to have rubbed off the blackboard of New Zealand music history. Their band name is almost impossible to google (lots of sports-related posts) and it doesn’t help when their old Kiwihits description notes that the band “prefer to remain anonymous”. Will the video offer any clues? No, because while the band appear in the vid, they boringly have black censorship bars across their eyes. They sound influenced by Interpol but don’t share that band’s aesthetic (i.e. their hair is rubbish). While they’re playing, a non-censored guy gets adventurous with office supplies. Maybe they were just really shy and couldn’t reconcile that with having a career in the world of popular music.

Director: Michael Humphrey
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

The Exiles “The One”

There’s so much going on here. The song is like a glorious mash-up of dark electronica, hip hop, R&B and indie rock. It all works, and there’s an enjoyably catchy chorus. The video is largely animated, and as guitarist Sean told NZ On Screen, the inspirations for the video were “Metropolis, Tim Burton’s first short film Vincent, the colour red, and the idea of desiring machines.” Yep, that’s pretty much it.

Director: Luke Sharpe
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

The Have “Red Tide”


Red tide is a name for a type of algal bloom that affects areas around the Gulf of Mexico. It’s also slang for periods (lol). And so The Have have taken the term, put it through their rock ‘n’ roll machine and come up with the grunty southern jam. The video is animated, based on rough cut-outs of the band and matches. And of course, where there’s a match, there’s fire. But you know what’s even cooler? Bioluminescent red tides, when the algae gets disturbed as glows as a defence mechanism. Glow-in-the-dark water. They should have put that in the video.

The Reduction Agents “The Pool”

This super cool tune by The Reduction Agents (aka James Milne’s music project that isn’t Lawrence Arabia) uses the Point Erin Pools for the video. But this ain’t no sunny day at the pool. It’s shot at night, giving it a dark feeling – both literally and figuratively, y’all. And not only that, the video also avoids having any “sexy people around the pool” shots, instead using the band looking cold and pale in their togs. This is what a midnight pool party looks like.

Director: Stephen Ballantyne
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

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