Heartbreaking Bravery

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Mozes and the Firstborn – Bloodsucker (Music Video)

Mozes and the Firstborn quietly released one of the best debut records of last year on Burger as a cassette and few people noticed. Now, though, on the brink of releasing that same record in all major audio formats (and in the midst of a tour with together PANGEA), lots of people’s heads are turning. All it takes is one listen to just about any song off of Mozes and the Firstborn to know that this quartet of kids from the Netherlands has tapped into something special. Serious songwriting chops paired with enviable pop sensibilities and enough dirtied up grit to make any Ty Segall acolyte blush. All of this is why this site’s already spent a fair amount of words on the band. They’re a band worth celebrating and undoubtedly deserve the praise and affection that will be coming their way.

Today, the band outdid themselves. Already prone to sneaking in nods to film (their name is a reference to the animated religious film The Prince of Egypt), they elevated their filmic tendencies by releasing a music video for “Bloodsucker” that’s a loving ode to The Big Shave, the 1967 short film that launched Martin Scorsese’s career. Only this time, instead of the principle subject shaving the bottom half of his face off, the band and director, Jeroen Dankers, give the stark story a blackly comic twist that prompts as much laughter as it does disgust. It’s an audacious move and may even become an iconic clip in certain circles. While the video’s dedication to a faithful aesthetic recreation of its source material is impressive, it’s the song that pushes this over the edge. “Bloodsucker” is the kind of vintage powerpop that’s incredibly difficult to get successful without sounding strained but is a style Mozes and the Firstborn manage to pull off effortlessly. With “Bloodsucker” backing the increasingly garish imagery that accompanies it, they create an incredibly memorable piece of art that deserves to be seen. Watch “Bloodsucker” below, pre-order Mozes and the Firstborn from Burger, and don’t take any brushes with fate for granted.

Archie Powell & the Exports – Everything’s Fucked (Stream)

First off, sincerest apologies for the gap in content posting. Much of the delay is due to an issue that’s close to being resolved and will (finally) result in the posting of the 13th Watch This installment. Apologies aside, the lack of content means there were a few things that slipped through the radar and couldn’t be given a timely post. That’s where ragged Midwest punk-leaning powerpop staples Archie Powell & the Exports come in. “Everything’s Fucked” (an appropriate sentiment for the current delay situation)  is the first track the band’s allowed the public of their upcoming Back in Black LP, a follow up to the extraordinary Great Ideas in Action.

If “Everything’s Fucked” is indicative of the rest of Back in Black then the band’s grown even more incendiary over the brief amount of time that’s lapsed. Everything that made their past work so worthwhile is retained in full but there’s a greater urgency in the band’s controlled chaos. From the distorted acoustic opening chords through to the explosive finale, that noticeably elevated urgency drives the song off the rails and charts its own damn course. Considering everyone sounds like they were lit on fire before someone hit record, the fact that the studio didn’t burn to the ground when this thing was tracked is kind of astonishing. There’s a reckless go-for-broke mentality that permeates “Everything’s Fucked” which makes it one of the most infectious things the band’s ever done. Frantic and catchy as hell, “Everything’s Fucked” just might be an apt example of the band’s manic determination. If that winds up as being even half as propulsive as “Everything’s Fucked”, they may just generate enough momentum to push them onto much bigger things. Keep both eyes out, lock up the children, and listen to “Everything’s Fucked” below.