7 Oct 2014

Eagulls / Hollow Visions - is this the GREATEST music video since the invention of the Internet?

For as long as I can remember, music videos have been the blandest part of a brand new single. The music's the best bit, andn the prospect of a new song on the reverse is always cool. And the radio play that comes with it is always a brilliant bonus. And the artwork's always great. But fuck me, are music videos boring, and unnecessary? What do they do? Who buys a record on the strength of a music video? Of course, there are good music videos that are genuine artworks. The video to Radiohead's No Surprises, I think, is forlornly beautiful. The video to Californication is pretty cool, and always a good conversation stimulus. But there's one band that use the music video perfectly. And as is so often the case with this blog, it's Eagulls. Everything is Eagulls.
This year, they scooped up the NME award for best video; the decomposing brain that was shown in the Nerve Endings video was almost shocking, but within the comfort zone of the general public. Some people were a bit grossed out, but largely a four minute timelapse of a maggot-infested brain backed only by the occasion hologram of the band with a psychedelic hue was safe. It was cool. It wasn't way way too much for anybody, probably.

But following disgusting maybe a couple of people, Eagulls have decided that maybe a couple isn't enough. With their latest video Hollow Visions, Eagulls have made a consciously revolting, disgusting, stomach-curdling video to accompany an already angsty post-punk song. And fuck, isn't it beautiful?

With every intention to shock the listener, Eagulls already tentative, tetchy sound is aided  by a three minute long video of an eye being surgically cut into, all the tissue being cut and pulled, with blood seeping out of the slash wounds. Surgical instruments and needles sew right through the white liquiddy bit of the eye, whilst occasionally the odd lyrics flashes up. I think it's the best thing ever. Seriously.

Whist music videos are something I generally choose to ignore consciously, this is one of the greatest examples of a music video as modern art ever. It's kind of like Salvador Dali's Un Chien Andalou (where Pixies lift the lyric "Slicing up eyeballs from") where eyeballs get sliced. Only kind of slower, and more graphic, and with a musical accompaniment to match. I think Salvador Dali would see Eagulls as visionaries, he'd love 'em, because it's really the first time anyone in the public eye has used a music video this way.

Although it's understandably disgusting to a lot of people, (Pitchfork ran an article on it called "Is This The Grossest Music Video Ever?") Eagulls are one of the few bands ever to do anything interesting with music videos. By defacing an eye, they seem to have given some new life to the promotional music video. This band are seriously something special, I swear.

(written by calum cashin)