Throwing together a music video on the fly can be an intimidating task for a busy up and coming band. Striking the balance between giving fans and newcomers a taste of what a group is all about, showcasing some live performance and embedding a track with an extra layer of meaning is no easy task. That said, taking a D.I.Y. approach and teaming up with a small but talented creative team Brisbane’s punk-infused rock quintet WAAX pull it off with their latest clip I For An Eye.
Brisbane punk upstarts WAAX are back to tear you a new one with their video for I For An Eye. A thrashing look at inferiority and self empowerment.
Noting that their first video clip Wisdom Teeth was “An explosive introduction to the band” front woman Marie De Vita describes I For An Eye as showing how the band has matured and evolved over the past year. There is little question that vocalist De Vita, guitarists Ewan and Chris, drummer Tom and bassist Griff have been hard at work since the release of first single Wisdom Teeth in May 2014. Quickly drawing the attention of a large fan base via Triple J Unearthed, the success of WAAX’s first single landed the group a coveted spot in Unearthed’s 2015 BIGSOUND showcase and saw the band spend the better part of a year gigging along the east coast with locals Kingswood, The Delta Riggs, Emperors and Stonefield as well as internationals such as punk legends Guitarwolf, UPSET and White Lung.
Contrasting Wisdom Teeth with I For An Eye it’s clear that WAAX’s latest clip shows a more confident and experienced iteration of the band. The strut and swagger evident in the group’s stage presence demonstrates that the four have taken things to the next level and have drawn from the experience offered by a year of prolific gigging to hone a reputation for delivering a killer live set. Moving away from the bubblegum pop meets hard rock of infectious debut single Wisdom Teeth the new clip represents a desire to convey the darker and edgier punk aesthetic which has influenced the group’s sound and style.
Not content to merely showcase a live performance the group have collaborated with director Jaymis Loveday (known for his visual work with local acts Violent Soho, Ball Park Music and Jungle Giants) and assistant director Jarrod Rooke to work in some symbolism and a visual narrative into their latest clip. Initially conceived during a part-drinking/ part-planning session held between the band and Jaymis I For An Eye alternates between shots of the band performing and De Vita wreaking havoc across Brisbane suburbia. De Vita admits she relished the opportunity the making of the video provided to release some pent up anger and generally “Smash shit up”.
The clip’s wanton destruction is underscored by the lyrics which explore alternating feelings of inferiority and of indifference towards vanity. CastingDe Vita as a form of protagonist the narrative of the clip reflects an underlying notion whichDe Vita terms “Killing vanity”. While the initial visuals of the band’s performance provide the protagonist an outlet to vent her frustration over feeling inferior, the act of destroying various bathroom mirrors which embody the locus of vanity, represent both an expression of indifference towards self-absorption and an assertion of self-empowerment.
The clip then indulges the group’s penchant for the terrifying by having the protagonist re-construct the shattered shards of glass to construct a demonic visage. Taking on a messianic persona De Vita ties the two narratives together by donning the mask in front of an ominous crowd of spectators who shine light upon the mask to have it reflect back upon them to conclude the clip with great visual effect.
Complimented by aggressive instrumental hooks alongside frenzied, raw and venomous vocals I For An Eye makes an aggressive statement against vanity and self-conceit while capturing the electricity, attitude, aggression, atmosphere and shock value of the band’s live act.
For those looking to catch a live set the band will be playing Sydney’s Bank Hotel on the 24th of July and Brisbane’s Greaser on August 1st.
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