April 2009: The Datsuns, The Mint Chicks, These Four Walls, Timmy Schumacher, Vince Harder, Zowie

A baby dreams, pro wrestling, a night out in Tokyo, Auckland on a grey day, attack of the crazy costumes.

The Datsuns “Cruel Cruel Fate” – missing

I feel quite certain that there was actually no video made for “Cruel Cruel Fire”, but yet it is listed in every database I have, including NZOA’s list of complete videos.

The Mint Chicks “Hot on your Heels”

The “Hot on your Heels” video is presented as the dream of a baby, starting with a giant nipple-shaped object. The rest of the video is less mammarial, with an animated world involving weird creatures, strange landscapes and the Mint Chicks (or their stunt doubles) dressed in tiger costumes. The song is a two minute punk-pop explosion. The video takes the song’s energy and goes far with it.

Director: Special Problems
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

These Four Walls “Sweet December”

“Sweet December” takes place on a wrestling ring. A lot of the time we see the band performing the song from the squared circle, with the lead singer mainly shot from the nose down, suggesting his little beard is more visually interesting than his eyes. The rest of the time wrestlers – male and female – go through their moves, shot in slow motion. They’re obviously experienced pro wrestlers as there are some delightfully camp facial expressions as the wrestlers dramatically act to the “pain” being inflicted upon them.

Director: James Solomon

Timmy Schumacher featuring Jason Kerrison “Sunrise”

Another video of the “Look! I’m in Tokyo!” genre, complete with footage taken from the window of a subway car. In this case, there’s a bit of a story. A couple of New Zealand guys meet up with some Tokyo girls and they go to a club and dance to “Sunrise”. Ok, and on the way they take the metro so there are lots of shots of the station because this is very exotic and we don’t have a subway in New Zealand.

Director: Marc Swadel
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Vince Harder “Say This With Me”

“Say This With Me” has a very late ’90s, classic boyband sound to it, with layers of vocal harmonies and a slightly cheesy feeling. But is able to deliver it with the heartfelt style it needs. The video plays along, putting Vince at some sort of hotel (with a pool!), spending a lot of time sitting around a bar. There are a few shots of Rangitoto from a shore, but it’s Auckland on a grey day, capturing that overcast New Zealand feeling.

Director: Ivan Slavov

Zowie “Bite Back”

In the late ’00s, early ’10s, there was a trend amongst female popstars to wear lavish, over-the-top costumes – Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj. Whereas now, those divas are toning down their look and going for a more minimalist style. But here’s Zowie, rocking her version of the crazy costume trend, with sequins, horizontal triangles on her shoulders and a jacket with a witch’s hat riding on each shoulder.

The video is less interesting. It’s Zowie walking down a road, surrounded by lights and smoke, joined by a group of nondescript guys. Unlike the finely-honed pop that Gaga, Katy and Nicki were releasing, “Bite Back” feels underproduced, like a demo in search of a killer remix. The last minute is especially uneventful, leaving the unengaging music accompanied by equally unentertaining footage of Zowie walking down a road.

Director: Garth Badger
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

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