narkPumpkinhead stick it to John Banks, who was Minister of Police at the time. Set in a claustrophobic suburban living room, the video alternates between regular footage of the band performing the song and fake-up security camera video. Because, you know, police surveillance.
The song is an extreme mash-up of styles, with a bit of Kris Kross, some Red Hot Chili Peppers, a slice of Suicidal Tendencies, a Nirvana growl and, strangely enough, some of the nu metal sound that didn’t really happen until the late ’90s.
As the band use their funk-pop-rap styles to deal with their snooping neighbours, I can’t help feel that, yeah, they were quite sincere when they made this. They really felt that they were doing something for the good of the country. And with John Banks now the loneliest MP in Parliament, perhaps Pumpkinhead did leave a bit of a legacy.
More business from Christchurch grunge unit Pumpkinhead. With a song called “Third Eye”, I would be extremely disappointed if the video didn’t include low-tech animated third eyes. Nga Taonga describes the video as “Pumpkinhead perform “Third Eye” in a yellow lunar setting and in a pub.”
Spurred on by popularity from the “Once Were Warriors” soundtrack, Southside of Bombay make a house record, with the highly danceable “Umbadada”. But Southside haven’t lost track of their reggae roots – the song has a message of unity and living forever.
In 1995 the Feelers won the prestigious South Island Battle of the Bands competition. Part of the prize included a single and music video released through Wildside. That song in question was “The Leaving”, with the music video directed by James and Matthew of the Feelers and camera by future Feelers music video director David Reid. The song obviously didn’t have the impact of later single “Pressure Man”, but it was included as a track on the band’s debut album.
Wonderkind have “Destiny Change”, an upbeat dance song about a teen prostitute. There was a lot of that in the ’90s – upbeat dance music about really depressing social issues. Here’s a very 1997 remix of the song.
Another track from Hamilton songstress Jacqui Keelan Davey, this time with “Watching Me Drown”.
Maree Sheehan “Might As Well Shout”
The Kiwi Hit Disc described “Might As Well Shout” as a “fast-paced, catchy dancefloor number”. It features backing vocals from expats Mark Williams and Australian Idol vocal coach Erana Clark.
Papa “For What It’s Worth”
This is pretty much impossible to Google (it’s not a unique song title). I don’t know who Papa was, but it might be related to the record label, Papa Pacific.
Meanwhile in the world of non-NZOA-funded videos we find “Manic (Is a State of Mind)”, the first music single from Jan Hellriegel’s second album. Filmed in Sydney, it takes place in a gloriously garishly painted art deco house (not a visual effect, the YouTube description notes!), and features a very sinister looking cafe fridge.
Failsafe Records has a crazy account of Pumpkinhead’s rise and fall, from being “Christchurch’s premier grunge outfit” to being ruined by a junkie spending the band’s funds on smack. Failsafe also describes the “Water” video as having “cliché genre-styled efforts”, that is indeed a fair comment.
The video starts with a foetus morphing into an eye, and then we’re introduced to an old man dowsing on the Canterbury Plains. A bit of live footage follows, then the band plays its “November Rain” card with a wedding. A bride and groom look adoring at each other, but, you know, with sinister undertones.
There’s a shot of the band dressed as some sort of preachy Christians hanging out in Cathedral Square, in the light of golden afternoon sun. But looking at it now, in 2011, it takes on a sad undertone that strangely fits into the video’s theme.
Chorus time sees the band hanging out in a room kitted out in surrealistic overdrive – dead fish, an old dentist’s chair and a green screen background of falling rain. The video then turns into a mish-mash of the (un)happy married couple, the old man, the band and the flaming flames of fire and desire.
It is indeed packed full of genre cliches, but there’s nothing wrong with making a genre video.
Best bit: the Nevermind money-on-a-fishing-line tribute.