August 2006: 4 Corners, 5Star Fallout, AL, Ammp, Atlas, Blindspott

Hotel high jinks, the bleakness of rural New Zealand, war is hell, falling and not getting up, stadium rock, and a welding torch.

4 Corners “Get Back Down”

Also called “It’s the Flow”. Two of 4 Corners play hotel concierges, left to look after things when the boss steps out. They replace the elevator muzak with their song, turning all the ordinary hotel patrons into groove machines – a businesswoman becomes a pole dancer, a middle-aged couple become saucy ballroom dancers. The song itself is quite repetitive and while there’s a lot of fun in the video, it sometimes gets dragged along with the sameness.

Director: Sam Tozer
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

5star Fallout “Fly Away”

Things start out dramatically with a Confucius quote and the drama gets bigger. The video is based around lead singer Michael being held as a prisoner of war. It’s the same kind of style as high-school students making a war film in the 48Hours film competition – guns, uniforms, but no one really knows what to do so there’s just lots of snarling, shouting and violence. Michael gets his head shaved, which is not even the best incidence of head-shaving in a NZ On Air music video.

Director: Ivan Slavov

AL “Blazin’ (re:AL)”

This video starts off with Upper Hutt MC AL wielding a welding torch (his day job) and it’s all looking tough and cool. Then in the first verse he asserts, “I’m vertically challenged” and for the rest of the video, I can’t help noticing that, yeah, he is actually really short. AL is a confident MC with some clever rhymes, but someone needs to tell him that a Brazilian fundamentally involves waxing, not shaving.

Director: Luke Sharpe

Ammp “Ironman”

Wellington band Ammp go for a very Wellington location – right in the middle of the field at Westpac Stadium. The arena’s circle of yellow seats is a bold background, but the video has an overall yellow filter, which gives everything an apocalyptic feeling. Lead singer Andrew seems very moved by the song, delivering a very vulnerable look that’s at odds with the jaunty rock song and epic setting of the video. Nga Taonga credits the video’s editor as “Holden Caulfield”. Oh really?

Director: Ivan Slavov
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Atlas “Crawl”

Atlas was formed by Ben from Zed, his sister and a singer guy from Kentucky. Somehow “Crawl” was No.1 for seven weeks (it was a strange time for New Zealand music as it recovered from the boom time of the earlier 2000s). The video puts singers Sean and Beth behind Britomart Station when suddenly they drop to the ground, à la “Just”. There’s concern from onlookers, including two girls inexplicably wearing nylon party wigs. It turns out there’s a forcefield and some mysterious gas. The drama is never resolved and the most memorable part of the video ends up being Sean and Beth crawling across the cobblestones, surrounded by other fallen goths, emos and punks.

Meanwhile, in the comments:


Director: Ollie Langridge
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Blindspott “Lull”

Blindspott like bleakness. Previous videos have seen them performing in various bleak dystopian landscapes, usually based in a sci-fi version of reality. But “Lull” goes into one of the darkest, bleakest settings imaginable – 1950s rural New Zealand. While Mum and Dad argue, the boy runs off into the paddock. As Blindspott perform in front of ghostly branches, drama unfolds. Guest vocalist Anika Moa is heard but not seen.

Director: Sam Peacocke
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

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