The Brainchilds was a pop outlet for musicians Steve Roche, David Donaldson and Janet Roddick (now working as mutli-purpose composers Plan 9). Their cover of the Beatles’ pop masterpiece strips away the more psychedelic elements of the fab four’s production. As a result, Janet’s lovely clear voice makes the song sound more like a hypnotherapy take. Turn off your phone, relax, and float downstream. You crave not ciggies. You crave not ciggies.
The video has relaxing, slightly trippy look, and it’s not a typical rock video. The only member of the band we see performing is Janet’s lip-synch of the song. The rest of the band are left to artfully wander around a forest of empty picture frames. But this all fits with the Brainchilds’ performance art background.
There are a lot of picture frames in the video. The action starts with a number of gilded frames in a dark space, floating around with footage of various outdoor scenes and Janet’s ghostly white face playing in them. The second half of the video puts the frames in a white space and sees the suited members of the group wander artfully amongst them.
There’s something quite pleasing about this. It’s using the latest innovations in digital video effects with some classic arty video tricks. And it doubles as a relaxation tape.
Another music video that has a creative debt to the videos of bands like Nine Inch Nails and Tool.
“I Only Said” is a messed up world of strange medical contraptions, blood flowing through tubes, mice, and housewives wearing paperbags on their head.
It probably seemed really cutting edge at the time, but looking back at it now, it all seems pretty dated, and just a little naive. It’s all a bit, “Look! We’re being alternative and subverting the mass media.”
Or was the fact that this was being done by a New Zealand band worth celebrating?
“Fish Across Face” suddenly appeared out of the blue, settled in at number nine in the charts and left everyone wondering who exactly this Head Like a Hole musical group was.
From their early metal years, the “Fish Across Face” video features the band naked (but for body paint) in most scenes. But Wikipedia says the video was banned for a different reason – in one very brief shot, liquid flows from the mouth of one HLAH to another (and apparently it was orange juice). At the time there was a meningitis outbreak, so concerned authorities didn’t want kids to copy this thing. They might as well ban pashing.
As well as the body paint, there’s high jinks in the ocean, at a rubbish dump and on a bouncy castle. While it all looks like a fun low budget video, there’s a rather sophisticated crane shot right at the end (or is it just a guy standing on a ladder).
“Fish Across Face” seems like such a perfect NZ On Air music video – the band stretches the budget as far as it will go, has fun and generally creates a ruckus that keep them buoyant for years to come.