King Loser “Troubled Land”

1996-king-loser-troubled-land“Troubled Loser” was Chris and Celia doing their best Lee and Nancy. Not so much a duet as a man and a woman who both had something to say.

The band are absent from the video. With one food firmly planted in the 1960s, the it instead follows a black-clad cowboy as he stumbles around a vast desert. Sometimes it seems like the hot desert heat has got the better of him, but other times he seems as staunch as ever. But perhaps he’s hallucinating that he’s back on the range.

I’m not sure, but I think this video was shot on the massive sand dune at the north head of the Hokianga. It doesn’t quite feel like the wild west, but it also doesn’t feel like Northland. It feels like a lookalike location, that sort that might be used in a low-budget western.

But removing the band from the video and keeping the visuals stark and minimal, it puts the emphasis on the song, letting every squelch and snarl come through loud and clear.

Best bit: the cowboy’s stick; his woody companion.

Director: Daniel Mancini
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a virtual reality trip.

King Loser “76 Comeback”

1995-king-loser-76-comebackThe “76 Comeback” video is another one showing the influence of Quentin Tarantino. It’s styled like a 1970s exploitation film, including bold opening titles. It’s goofy but it works because King Loser are so cool. They don’t even have to try to be cool; they just are.

We follow a deadly assassin played by bassist Celia Mancini, clad in a black cat suit, complete with claws. But it’s no disguise. Because it’s the middle of the day, she sticks out, a black silhouette against the grimy grey alleys of pre-fancy Britomart.

While the wailing instrumental of “76 Comback” makes everything sound even cooler, Celia runs around, climbs, drives, shoots, kungfu kicks, explodes and wipes out her bandmates. And, just to prove she’s still on top, she finishes her busy day by changing into an evening gown and taking off on a motorcycle with a mysterious stranger.

This video could have come from no other era than the mid ’90s, but it still works as a fun, low-budget, action extravaganza.

Best bit: Celia’s stylish leap off of a street-level window ledge for no apparent reason.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… Banksie is watching you.