Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Playlist: Patrick Duvall from Of The Sun Rocks Hard

Of The Sun are a group of groove metal future stalwarts.

Patrick Duvall was willing to take some time for us to show you the kind of music he's really into and what's helped shaped the sound of his band. From this point forward, all words are his.


Everything about this video screams a huge "FUCK YOU" to pop music, and I love it.

The music toes the line, even follows a somewhat homogenized template of what you might expect a pop rock song to sound like, but it's darker and it hints at the manic nature of the band. Subdued, simple beats in 4/4 lay the groundwork for the overlapping string patterns, but not without the strategic placement of the angular, staggering 1-2-3! 1-2-3-4! mid-measure interjections.

A sexy, serpentine guitar line playing it cool, dancing behind almost-whispered falsetto vocal harmonies detailing a scene which defies description. Meanwhile, the bass is thumping away, keeping everything in the pocket. The first chorus kicks in and that old, familiar boost of intensity claims your focus. The melody is in everything, completely uncharacteristic for a DEP song.

Greg is still harmonizing his vocals even though he's all-out belting at this point. The music is oversimplified to the point of streamlining power. It becomes an electrical conduit, and STILL the measures are punctuated with odd time details, making it too strange for the buttoned-up and effectively removing it from the quicksand of pop music-dom.

They continue to play with and pervert this formula through another verse and chorus before transitioning into a motherfucking MONSTER of a bridge. Still functioning within the parameters of a pop tune, they drop the anvil they'd been hauling up the ladder the entire time straight onto your head. It's a brilliant, super-powerful moment in rock and roll.

The imagery in the video is just as haunting as the song itself, reminiscent of murder scenes and shit you wish you could not only forget, but un-remember. To me, it's such a counter-intuitive move on their behalf. It's almost as though they got together and said, "Hey, what would rock stars not do? Let's go ahead and do that, I bet it'd be fun."


First off, let me just preface this by saying that Car Bomb's META is, hands-down, my favorite album of 2016. Also, of the songs on that release to make a video for, BLACK BLOOD was such a good choice simply due to the fact that it's such a merciless punch to the face.

These dudes have the ability to merge ferocious violence and mind-shredding technicality into intelligent arrangements that still breathe and move around organically. The songwriting that goes into their work is at once playful and sober, almost as though they're juking diagonally through space, intentionally flabbergasting anyone trying to follow their trail. There is nothing simple about any of it, and they've worked hard for a long time.

Above all else, their body of work tells me that it's possible to have fun working your ass off. Their road documentary WHY YOU DO THIS highlights this in greater detail, and the tour footage and live concert video patchwork of the video for BLACK BLOOD makes easy to pick up on their DIY ethic. It's always fun to catch candid glimpses of the perspective of musicians as they're in the thick of it, seeing not only what they've gotta do in the span of time between performances but their enthusiasm to be doing what they're doing that's conveyed in the outtakes that are pieced together in videos like this.

It's obvious that their means are limited, but they continue to move forward nonetheless and do everything with the resources available. The genius of their music requires it and their charm is magnified by it. Awesomeness of character is translated through all of this. Oh, right, and they're also unorthodox masters of psychic dissonance.


Snarky Puppy is a tremendous collective of virtuosic players, and this video showcases just how much energy they can pack into a song. As they're a jazz ensemble, it stands to reason that LINGUS is over 10 minutes long. But, goddamn, does it GO PLACES!

It's got everything worth having this side of dark and heavy; versatility, technical chops, speed, polyrhythms, heartfelt movement, stank, brightness, precision, and FUN. You can genuinely feel that what's happening on camera is being thoroughly enjoyed by the musicians executing it, and that makes all the difference. There's no suspicion you're listening to a band regurgitate formula and play the market in an effort to gain notoriety here.

These are musicians making music, and incredibly so. What's so ballsy about this video, which has professional studio polish to its production, is that it's a masterfully executed live performance of one of their songs complete with an improvised keyboard solo. Okay, impressive, right? Well, to top that they invite 20 or so guests to sit in on the recording session as witnesses to whatever should happen in this endeavor. Most people would choke under this kind of pressure, but this group seems to thrive on it.

The interplay between members is nothing short of joyous and certain parts are guaranteed to get a smile out of you. There's a purity of energy they manage to capture with this effort, and by the time the last note is played it feels like you've just witnessed a triumph of some sort. Great video, excellent energy.


Wow. WOW! Has it really been over 10 fucking years?! I mean... this is one of the old favorites, but goddamn.

The essence of rock and roll was still very much alive in this tune. It's visceral, palpable, heavy-hitting without overplaying, imaginative without being wanky, a supercharged bulldozer that picks up speed and loses control at the song's conclusion, tumbling end over end in a mangled heap. The beautiful thing about that last part of the description is that the sequence which translates to a loss of control for me is the absolute most technically demanding part. It's puzzling how some things are conveyed exactly opposite to their nature, and I feel that the end of REMEMBERANCE is one of those rare moments in music.

It sounds like chaos. It feels like tumbling end over end. There doesn't seem to be control of the flow, but everything is in the hands of masters. That chaos is a finely calculated order, and that feeling of vertigo was engineered.

Too many bands play with scales and not enough manipulate the equilibrium. What these dudes put together is a thing of beauty, and they pulled it off with strength and class live, onstage. If this song came out today, it would still have a tremendous effect on worldwide metal. GOJIRA knew how to build a song that ran on diesel and could at once appeal to your more primal side while stimulating your ear for detail.

The sonic balance is humbling and the live take of this song, to me, is infinitely better than the studio version. 


Certain bodies of work can be admired yet not fully grasped. You can bear witness to a performance or a painting or sculture of some sort and know exactly which schools of thought the creator subscribed to. Then you have the completely oddball creations which seemingly arrive from another dimension and completely stump your sensibilities.

The use of imagery, movement, contour, sound or any combination thereof could be a product of obscure disciplines, or they could simply be the ingredients to a recipe dreamt up and thrown together by brilliant minds which move about in contempt of contemporary culture, rules, and logic. I'm not sure how the music and visuals were orchestrated by the now-defunct SGM, or the logic behind their decisions, but this group of artists tapped into something elusively real in their efforts and I'd like to imagine their approach was the latter of the previous explanations.

How they came to fashion together such rich imagery with such abstract songwriting completely blows my mind. We're used to seeing our favorite bands performing at the camera wearing street clothes in play-through videos, maybe even set in a dramatic backdrop, but rarely do we get to catch a video that breaks beyond that template.

In what I can only describe as a plot resembling a supernatural turn-of-the-century Satanic cult murder mystery, I'm left scratching my head and in absolute awe at the thought process which went into the production of this video. The music alone has by far some of my all-time favorite musical maneuverings, but the cinematography of this video completes the experience.

These artists were unabashed, cavalier geniuses cut from a different cloth.



What a juxtaposition! The music, with its synth-driven electro-pop blueprint and shimmering clean female vocals, acts as a disorienting soundtrack to a plot cast in a dark, post-apocalyptic scene. Picture minimalist survivalism among the people left over, decades after a nuclear war wipes out civilization.

There's an imagined narrative to the story which follows a singular character throughout the video, illustrating an impressive depth of personality all without words. You get to imagine that you understand a certain primal part of this person's soul at the close of the video, maybe even questioning whether or not these characteristics reside within you. It's brutal and convoluted, and it's nothing like the music.

I find that the difference between the two serves to add to the discomfort of the experience, which I believe is the desired effect. That's also how I view this video, and why I like it so much. It's an experience, a true sum of its parts.


The evolution of the narrative in this video makes sticking around for the entirety of it so totally worth it. It can be uncomfortable, especially through the first three-quarters of it, but the payoff is the ending.

Trust me, it's something you'll want to witness. At once happy and utterly depressing, bleak and triumphant, violent, twisted and funny as hell, the imagery conveys some of the legendary fundamentals of the inimitable Mr Bungle, one of our all-time favorites. They're truly a product -as well as an analysis- of their California habitat, almost an embodiment of southern California history: romantic idealism merged with the frailty of human nature and the merciless pull of the tide.

With this one, they've got heavy notes of deep, existential wisdom embedded within a haunting drag of a song, which seems to act as the soliloquy of the main characters. It's got a David Lynch or John Waters vibe. Because it's so damn weird and unsettling, part of you kinda wishes you hadn't seen it, but you still can't deny the its effectiveness. It gets to you.

Fantastic work.


 Man, this one is a blast from the past! I remember seeing this briefly on either MTV or VH1 towards the end of the days when those channels were still active in airing music videos. Something tells me the executives didn't appreciate the content of of the song.

Seems like it was shut down pretty fast. Anyway, I've always liked this video. I only saw it once or twice as a kid and very few people I've mentioned it to since then have known what I'm talking about. It's an animated video, and the lyrics and cartoon follow history on earth and go as far as to predict a grim future.

These dudes called some shit back in the nineties that has come true before they really could've known, when those predictions were still kind of a long shot. Mind you, they weren't exactly unique in scope, just considered extreme leftism by brainwashed American culture.

Let's hope the finale doesn't ring as true as the rest of it. However, our chronology isn't stacked up to offer much promise and recent events seem to underline just how accurate it may end up being.


If there's a video that instantly comes to mind when I think of how good it feels to be locked in with my band, it's this one. The rawness of it, the stripped-down bare bones feel of the members all facing one another while they dig in and make that sound come to life as a camera crew documents their movement just shows how simple the love of music really is.

Yeah, the film is grainy. The movement is frenetic. Time freezes, speeds up and slows down at breakneck speed. Yeah, you can see crew members shooting the take. Phil splashes the camera lens with something. Fuck it, this is about the music.

This is about the heart behind those notes and words. This is no-frills attitude. Stick around and get into it or change the fucking channel. 


 I'm into the dark and twisted, and regardless of genre I'm happy to check out music videos that deviate from the safety of PC culture.

Every single video I've ever seen by Aphex Twin has been completely batshit bonkers, and I love it. His music is unique, but it's something I need to be in a certain mood for. To me, the sonic textures in his compositions are the most intriguing part of his music.

The videos are drug induced nightmares, though. It takes a certain kind to commit to creating things while they're under the influence. Most simply get caught in the habit and burn out. I dig catching a glimpse of the underbelly. Straight-up mightmare material seemingly put together by fellow artists residing in the same darkness.

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