Tax the Wolf offshoot Bang Bangz is currently our favorite Houston band, based on their debut, self-titled EP, which is full of a magical, minimalistic electronic brilliance and buoyed on the angelic tones of Elizabeth Salazar's voice. We keep the album on hand for whatever moment of deep self-realization may need a soundtrack.
We missed them performing Saturday with Clouds are Ghost and The Manichean, two other acts that currently reside in our Top 10 Texas bands. Luckily, the band has shot its first music video, so we can get the next best thing via the Tube of You in "Photograph."
Now, the video isn't going to win any accolades here for its conceptual brilliance, not when it's up against dancing skeletons, naked chicks with rifles, and death by moon poisoning, but it does display a sort of subtle genius. Half of the video is shot in the band's darkened rehearsal space simply jamming out their tune, while the other follows a sad, lost Salazar as she wanders through the dark streets of Houston.
Shot by Salazar's bandmates, Mario Rodriguez and Vik Montemayor, it's shaky, poorly lit, and somewhat amateurish. On the other hand, it does seem to fit "Photograph" like a glove with its stark, echoing presence. Even in the studio, the band seems surrounded on all sides by emptiness. What little light exists makes only token stabs against the darkness.
Bang Bangz soldiers on, though, and when Salazar does venture out to wander through downtown the oppressiveness of the empty space becomes even more unbearable. All in all, the video is a good first attempt, with some flashes of vision when it comes to the settings of scenes or capturing the look of the city through its night time inhabitants.
We look forward to some more music-video work from Bang Bangz. Check it out below.
Salazar took a few minutes out of being a siren to answer a few questions about "Photograph." Skip on over to page 2 for the interview.
Rocks Off: Why "Photograph?"
Elizabeth Salazar: "We wanted to create something natural, well thought of; nothing melodramatic. I think "Photograph" was perfect for this. It has this ease when you listen to it. All of our other songs are a bit more powerful, they would need more of an outlandish arrangement."
RO: One of the weird themes we pick up from the vid is the safety of the studio, and a sort of fear of the outside world. You seems kind of agoraphobic outside as opposed to your calm demeanor during the playing. Was that intentional?
ES: For me, I think it was bit of both intentional and unintentional. Mario had an idea in his head, he explained what he wanted to shoot but didn't explain why or what the outcome would be. So the video shot just that, me singing a song that is very familiar to me and me being out there not knowing what to do with myself.
RO: Do you think you might do a video for "Sound Off?" That's our favorite track.
ES: We might do a video for it a later time. We're thinking of making one for "Night Souls" next. But thank you! It's a fun song to perform.
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RO: Is this how the song looked in your head when you wrote it?
ES: Not at all, when we wrote it I totally had the mentality of floating crystals in outer space in my head. This totally exceeded my expectations.