June 2010: P-Money, PNC, Shihad, Six60, Sleeptalkers, Steriogram, Sweet & Irie

Trouble in the rubble, seductive wallpaper, a Möbius strip of Kiwi rock, over the top, the tide is high, and extreme doppelgängers.

P-Money featuring Milan Borich “Falling Down”

With Pluto broken up, former lead singer Milan Borich joins P-Money on “Falling Down”. It’s a dramatic song and the video gets even more dramatic. It imagines a disaster-struck downtown Auckland, full of rubble, dust, burning buildings and despair. But it would only be a few months later that New Zealand would experience this for real when the Christchurch earthquakes struck. The end of the video, with all the main players standing around looking defiant, looks a lot more thrilling than the reality of Christchurch, with endless insurance claims and bucket loads of liquefied sludge.

Director: Greg Page

PNC featuring The Checks “Let Your Lover Know”

PNC and The Checks join forces and produce a song that might even be the best thing either artist has done. The video is simple but seductive. PNC, Ed Checks and the titular lover are found in front of mostly dark patterned wallpaper. Stark lighting rotates around them, casting dramatic shadows on their faces.

Director: Tim van Dammen

Shihad “Lead Or Follow”

I know that not all Shihad videos are filmed in old abandoned buildings, but sometimes it feels like it. This one puts them in such a building and uses looping footage, trapping Jon and his bandmates in a Möbius strip of Kiwi rock. The song is longish – four and a half minutes – and the video keeps up the repetition throughout which leads to the video feeling, er, repetitive.

Director: Tim van Dammen
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Six60 “Rise Up 2.0”

All hail Six60, one of the most successful and most popular New Zealand bands of the past decade. “Rise Up 2.0” was their debut single, and it peaked at No.1. It’s a fairly ordinary drum and bass-influenced tune, urging the listener to “rise up”. But its impact extends beyond just the song’s simple message – the YouTube comments are full of people writing how proud they are to be a New Zealander.

The band’s first video takes place at a hipster arm-wrestling tournament, where skinny dudes with glasses deliver their own version of Over the Top. Six60 are found performing in a cage – it’s like Blindspott’s “S.U.I.T.” video, but without an ounce of menace. It’s an unusual debut because this style of song and this type of music video weren’t what Six60 became known for. It’s like they were trying to be cool dudes before realising that their thousands of fans were extremely happy to have an uncool pop-soul-reggae band instead.

Director: Greg Page
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Sleeptalkers “Where the Sun Hides”

“Where the Sun Hides” was the only funded video from Mt Maunganui band The Sleeptalkers. The video puts the band on a beach, with the tide rapidly coming in. Because this is a music video, they are unable to pick up their gear and move inland, and must instead stay in the sea, getting wetter and wetter. The lead singer gives a hamtastic performance, looking retro emo, when emo meant emotional. While all this is going on, we also see five guys wearing only denim cutoffs running through the woods, in search of the band.

Director: Tim Armstrong

Steriogram “Moving On”

By this stage, it’s clear that for whatever reason Steriogram weren’t appearing in their own music videos. But this video does an even better job with fake band members. It uses a crew of extreme sport athletes wearing masks of Steriogram band members. Directed by skateboarder Ryan Reichenfeld – who later directed Justin Timberlake’s “TKO” – the video follows the faux ‘Gram as they generally cause chaos in and around Los Angeles. The quality of extreme action is very enjoyable, and it’s all nicely shot. But the best thing is – the video wouldn’t be anywhere near as much fun if the real band had appeared. Their extreme stand-ins do a much better job.

Director: Ryan Reichenfeld

Sweet & Irie “The Love That Comes From You” – missing

This looks like another case of a video that wasn’t made, yet it’s on the completed list. The song is another slice of Sweet and Irie’s sunny and positive Aotearoa roots reggae.

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