February 2009: Sola Rosa, State of Mind, Sweet & Irie, The Black Seeds, The Checks, The Mint Chicks, Vince Harder

The year of the dead, furry fiends, the cleaners go to work, imperial phase Seeds, psychedelic layers, blue blood, and fluoro fun.

Sola Rosa featuring Bajka “Humanised”

For some reason, in 2009 imagery associated with Mexico’s Día de Muertos suddenly became very hip in New Zealand. On Saturday 31 October 2009, anyone who was anyone was having an early Día de Muertos party, not a Halloween party. The humanised video picks up on this trend, with the members of Sola Rosa wearing sexy skull face paint, and the video full of colourful symbols. Well, I guess if you’re going to celebrate being human, why not start with the dead.

Director: Tim van Dammen
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

State of Mind featuring Tiki “Kinetic”

I don’t even know where to start. It starts with some people in animal costumes. They’re bad-asses, and wander around Auckland vandalising things, mugging people, sexually harassing women, and stealing cars. Being dicks, basically. Even K Road regular Margaret is witness to their tomfoolery. But what’s really going on here? Is it just that they’re all sexually frustrated furries who need to get laid? Why yes, it is. And that’s what the last minute of the video is – a big furry orgy, with humping and grinding and yiffing galore. It’s not the sort of thing you’d expect to see in a video for a dark drum n bass song, but there it is.

Director: James Solomon

Sweet & Irie “Sweet & Irie”

Sweet & Irie are playing a casual game of poker with Mike King, when one of them gets a call asking if they can do a cleaning job. And not the Tarantino type of cleaning. The vacuuming and dusting type. The job is at York Street Studios, and while they’re there, they can’t resist jamming. The rock stars show up (played by Dave and Scotty from Elemeno P, and a couple of girls with giant cans of energy drinks), but they are totally cool with these talented cleaners finishing their song. The video also promises a “to be continued” story from Mike King’s poker game loss.

Director: Ivan Slavov
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

The Black Seeds “Take Your Chances”

The “Take Your Chances” video captures the Black Seeds at Wellington’s Homegrown festival in 2009. It’s the perfect opportunity to shoot a music video – a huge crowd of excited punters, not necessarily there to see the Black Seeds, but they’re playing so why not. The whole video looks great and is a perfect document of the Black Seeds in their imperial phase.

Director: Preston McNeil
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

The Checks “You and Me”

This is the most popular Checks song on Spotify, with well over 400,000 streams (the second placed song is only 47,000). Despite the poor audio of the YouTube upload, the song itself is a blissed-out rock track, and it’s not hard to see why it’s so popular. The video is full of layers and distortions. It feels like it’s let itself delve too deeply in the song’s trippy feeling and could have done with a little more restraint, letting the song do the work.

Director: Tim van Dammen
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

The Mint Chicks “Don’t Sell Your Brain Out, Baby”

I dunno. This isn’t a bad video, but there’s nothing amazing happening either. It just feels like a lazy animation. The Mint Chicks are at their best when they appear in their videos, but they’ve also produced some really good videos without the band appearing. This video just feels like a sketchbook turned into a video. I have high expectations for the Mint Chicks’ videos.

Note: the video above is the “censored” version”, which I think means that the copious blood splatter in the video has been overlaid with blue to avoid being too gruesome.

Director: Ruban Nielson
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Vince Harder “Lyrical Love”

Vince Harder made a name for himself as the guest vocalist for P-Money’s No.1 single “Everything”. “Lyrical Love” was his solo debut, and it sounds a lot like a Scandinavian-written pop track from the late ’90s, only without the super tight production. The video takes place in a nightclub, where Vince shows up and proceeds to dump fluorescent paint all over the floor. So what happens? Everyone smears the paint all over themselves! But very politely, very demurely. Because I guess no one wants to mess up their good club clothes.

Director: Jordan Dodson

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