Week in Pop: Daddy, Hellrazor, JEEN., The Lentils

Sjimon Gompers

The multidisciplinary patriarch on the rise to be the new king of New York—Daddy; photographed by Isabella Tan.

Hellrazor

Raising a little bit of heck in Reno with Hellrazor; press photo courtesy of the band.

Featured off Hellrazor’s recent New Professor album Satan Smile; we proudly present the Jayson Munro video for “Ants vs. Dragons” that blends practice space shenanigans & cat head antics by the sea. The visual Khakivision Production features guitarist/vocalist Michael Falcone (of Speedy Ortiz, Ovlov), bassist Kate Meizner (of Potty Mouth fame), percussionist Carey Dunne (of Arm Candy) playing card games with cassettes, tie-up games with the spools of tape, fun with gear & more idle games of merriment collide with all sorts of absurdity & visual overlays of hardcore wrestling matches & more assorted mayhem. Eccentric board games that include the old school “Don’t Wake Daddy”; the group’s own heavy & smart sound is coupled with an equally absurd video full of radical vibes that are certain to shatter whatever cycles of ennui that you might be suffering from at the moment.

Hellrazor’s video for “Ants vs. Dragons” revolves around a cat headed individual that lords over the entire endeavor as the band makes an eccentric experience out of their humble space. Everything from gear pile ups and cassettes played like cards or dominoes becomes the order of the day where a day of idling about is met with visual projections and more games to break the boredom. Then we are witnessed to that cat-headed mystery individual consuming blood from a glass, an illicit Gravediggaz tape exchange, amongst other dirty dealings that all ends with the blood drinking cat/human still chilling beach-side. The rhythm & discord heavy dissonance of Hellrazor maintains their rounds of chanted harmonies where the celebration of ecstatic absurdity makes for a DIY art house experience for all aspects of the senses (and certainly for the most discerning of tastes). Hellrazor raises the bar by embracing every aspect of their own quixotic & chaotic aesthetic where artistic expressions of the dissonant & assonant battles like Davids versus Goliaths or as the title of the single/video—”Ants vs. Dragons”:

Raising hell with Hellrazor; press photo.

We caught up with Hellrazor & director Jayson Munro for Khakivision Productions in the following interview transcription:

Give us behind-the-scenes insights into the Khakivision Production/Jayson Munro visual treatment for “Ants vs. Dragons” & how the story became centered around a cat-headed human.

I wanted to do a video where I get buried in music equipment, and that’s how it started. Jayson created the atmosphere through the pacing and colors.

I sent him over the question, and here’s his response:

I really like the visuals in the film Suspiria and wanted to kind of give this video that feel. So the colors were super important—specifically on the interior scenes. I changed the gel for each character in attempts to implicate or visually show a particular movement in the story-line.

The cat-headed human came as an accident. I wanted a kind of centralized thread and thought it would be cool to have someone on a beach, shown on a television, and as the video moved on the shot would get a little closer till finally the person would have green slime dumped on his head—Nickelodeon style, kind of connecting the games aspect of the video with it. When we went to shoot the scene all we had was fake blood and Mike didn’t want to have that stuff dumped on his head directly—so that’s where the mask came in. Once he pulled out the cat mask, I thought it would be hilarious to have the cat drinking the blood instead. So we did that. As we shot it, though, I started to see this cat as being in a kind of “Life on Mars” situation; but watching fun and games unfold. So I made him a bit more prominent in the video.

What sorts of rituals & the like went into the making of Satan Smile?

It was all recorded on June 6 at 6AM. Many candles were lit. It was very peaceful.

Is it safe to presume that Hall & Oates’ “Sara Smile” didn’t inspire the title or making of the album (or maybe it did?)?

We are big fans of their songwriting. There’s some H&O influence in “Vegas” and a few other Hellrazor songs. A couple people have mentioned the “Sara Smile” thing. But the title was an unrelated phrase that I had in my brainstorming notes from four or five years ago. It felt like a creepy visual. Whatever pleases Satan enough to make him smile or laugh must be some pretty fucked up shit.

Hellrazor live in the act; press photo courtesy of the band.

Notes from the NYC/New Haven scenes? Local artists you all would like to recognize?

New Haven has been a great spot for shows lately. Our Connecticut friends from Lea, Witch Hair and Ovlov are who we play with most often. And we love Maneka from NYC.

Hellrazor’s new album Satan Smile is available now from New Professor Records.

Catch Hellrazor at the following gigs:

September
09 West Haven, CT – Crunch House
22 Brooklyn, NY – Sunnyvale
25 New Haven, CT – Three Sheets
25 Brooklyn, NY – Alphaville

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