Crash “Castrato”

1996-crash-castratoThis is the last of Crash’s funded videos and it’s a strange video to go out with. It’s shot in a continuous take, and seems to also have been shot at a faster speed and slowed down a little, which is all perfectly fine for a music video.

The trouble is, the camera operator doesn’t seem to be able to guide the camera to where the action is. Lowlights including an extreme close-up of a comedy sticker on the drum kit, and a lingering upside-down, out-of-focus shot of random band action.

The lead singer, who has a perfect music video pale face and power bob – spends most of the time lurking in the corner, either as a blurry blob, or with her face blown out by the bright lights in close up. The camera operator seems to be more comfortable shooting musical instruments, walls and floors. People are hard.

I feel like maybe I’m missing something. Maybe it’s meant to be this messy confusing world. Maybe the floor is deliberately given as much screen time as the band members. Maybe it’s all a trick to distract the viewer from thinking of the titular castrated male.

Either way, even though this is a great mid-’90s pop-rock song, the video doesn’t sell it as well as it should.

Best bit: The “Alien Detection Unit” stick. El oh el.

Director: Greg Page
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… buzzy bee indie pop a go-go!

Crash “Day at the Fair”

1995-crash-day-at-the-fairCrash return with “Day at the Fair”, and it is to the credit of the director Greg Page that the video is not shot at a fair. Instead it follows a night in the life of a mannequin, going with the song’s metaphor of love being a roller coaster.

Our plastic heroine is sweet for a curly-haired bass player in Crash, and puts on some lipstick, a nice dress and her prettiest wig, and heads off to the nightclub. There she finds her fave band playing, looking quite the rock unit in silver suits.

The spunky boy bassist gives Miss Mannequin a seductive gaze, but later she finds him enjoying the company of two other mannequin ladies. Heartbroken, she runs off to the loos, where the nice singer from Crash offers her some lippie. But it isn’t enough. Ms Mannequin has seen the light and drivers herself home, tearing down the photo of the boy who broke her cold plastic heart.

I came to the end of this video feeling sad for the mannequin and angry that Crash have such a douchebag in their band. And why didn’t anyone else at the club comfort her? Poor Ms Mannequin.

Best bit: the dapper mannequin guy wearing a pirate hat.

Director: Greg Page
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… the worst gig at the worst pub.

Crash “Red Velvet”

1994-crash-red-velvet-sofaCrash is another mysterious band that managed to show up in the ’90s, release some songs, then vanish without really leaving much of an impact. Yet this video remains as a reminder of what once was.

“Red Velvet” – which appears to actually be an ode to a couch, or possibly a woman who is like a couch – is a poppy but slightly gothy Britpopesque song. That is, a perfectly respectable ’90s song.

The band’s frontwoman spends the verses lounging on a – wait for it – red velvet sofa, in the style of classical tableaux. In these tableaux, she’s joined by a couple of other women who look like they’d live in the Hutt and do medieval reenactments on the weekend.

When the chorus comes around, the action switches to the band. The drummer is steadily playing along, the guitarist is doing a full-on rock face, and the bassist is nervously jigging about, as if someone’s mum has said, “Come on, you’ve got to look a bit more lively than that!”

Best bit: the wind machine owns the dreamy chorus.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… fabulous cheekbones.