Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: visceral

PUP – Guilt Trip (Music Video)

They did it again. Emphatically. It’s been a while since a band made music videos this consistently great that were so separated stylistically. First, there was the relentless, cathartic bloodshed of “Reservoir” [which I named the best music video of 2013 over at PopMatters]. That was then followed by the one-shot video for “Lionheart” that undoubtedly hit a personal nerve for a lot of people. Somewhere along the way, PUP was finally released internationally and the band started picking up the wider recognition it deserved. Even with all of that taken into consideration, the band may have outdone themselves with the utterly stunning “Guilt Trip” music video.

Enhancing the cinematic elements of their previous clips tenfold, it tells an unlikely origin story that’s as visceral as it is bleakly compelling. Chandler Levack and Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux take the helm as the directing team and fill each frame with a sense of purpose to the point that it’s almost jarring, as that’s a style that’s increasingly fallen out of practice in the format as of late. Additionally, from the gorgeous first shot all the way through to the last, this is some of the best cinematography to have emerged this year in any format. From bullying to underage drinking to blood pacts to a dead cop to the most perfect conflict resolution imaginable, every single new scene and development lands with as much impact as the visuals themselves (keep an eye out for the images that happen in a silent, tension-filled interim, they’re among the most arresting of the past few years).

By the time the brilliant epilogue shot hits, acting as both a summary and a metaphor, it’ll be easy to feel absolutely spent. An entire adolescense, from the most harrowing moments to the most zealously joyful, can be found in these three minutes and 50 seconds. The way these images are presented resonates so profoundly that it’s almost difficult to separate them from real memories. Perfectly realized and featuring four unbelievably strong performances from its young cast, “Guilt Trip” doesn’t just have a shot at being the best video of this year- but one of the best of the decade.

Watch “Guilt Trip” below and relive the highs and lows of childhood all over again.

Girl Band – The Cha Cha Cha (Stream)

There was a lot of great material that was released last month that was difficult to post about while dealing with recurring technical issues. It’s a gap of space that still needs amending and that will be made up for. To start doing that with a song that’s not even 30 seconds might feel a little counterproductive but virtually nothing in the past year has stood out as much. It’s a visceral blast of punishing hardcore shrapnel; a true blink-and-you’ll-miss-it affair. It’s a complete left field turn for a band previously most noted for a searing post-punk slow-burner that ran for nearly six-and-a-half minutes. Frenetic bug-eyed insanity looks as good on this Dublin trio as no-wave that broods as expertly as it pierces. This is a band worth paying attention to.

Listen to the Sam Cooke-inspired (though virtually no one would guess it) “The Cha Cha Cha” below and get ready to hit repeat.