Sunday, 15 May 2016

Some new videos from Israeli bands

Seeing as this past week was the anniversary of Israel's independence, I thought it would be fitting to do something I haven't done in a while. Here are some (fairly) new videos from Israeli bands and what I think of them.

Saint God - Narasvette

First up is the Tel Aviv based Saint God. I've seen Saint God once before and was impressed by their creativity and mixture of genres (see review). Having already released their first album Montefiore (which I should review at some point), the duo also released a single, Narasvette. I found the video by accident via BlankTV. Well done on the boys for getting themselves on there.
 The track is pretty much in a shoegaze vibe, with dreamy, fuzzy guitars and echoed vocals. The video features Italian dancer, Giualia Piana, whose free spirited movements fit the flow of the song perfectly. The video is professionally shot and should be getting more attention.

The Fading - Solitude Express

 When it comes to Israeli metal bands, I'm still not 100% clued in. The Fading is a name I have seen and heard a lot since I moved out here. I'm actually still not sure if I've ever seen them but they must be doing something right. Their In Flames style metal has given them fairly wide spread success, most recently gaining them support slots on tour with the likes of Five Finger Death Punch and Bring Me The Horizon.
  The band's latest video is for Solitude Express from their last album Till Life Do Us Part. The video is mostly of the band in their rehearsal room, along with a few snippets of live performances and general "band stuff". The song itself is a good slab of modern metal, with thunderous drums, melodious riffs and growling vocals. I tend to prefer my metal a little bit more creative or fun and thrashy, but for what it is, it's certainly better than some of the more metalcore of bands who use bad clean vocals.

Jack The Envious - Wonderwall (Oasis Cover)

 Speaking of bands with bad clean vocals, have you met Jack The Envious? In all seriousness, despite being unimpressed with the band's original material from the Pull You Down album (another album I'm yet to review), I have been made pleasantly surprised by this total reworking of the Oasis classic, Wonderwall.
  To many, this might be considered "sacrilege" and that most Oasis songs are "untouchable", but even if you don't like Jack The Envious and this genre in general, you have to give them points for creativity. If someone was to hear this without being told what it was, they probably would not guess it was a Wonderwall cover until the first verse starts. The music is pretty much rewritten and given the "easycore" treatment. Apart from the closing melody of the song, nothing much from the original has stuck. The essence of the chorus is still there vocally, it's just been given some added double kicks and chugging guitars. The video sees the band roaming around a big house while playing and swapping instruments, eventually ending in one big house party.
  Probably out of all the covers of the song that have been done over the years, this has to be on the list of the most interesting, even if it does lack the punch that one would hope from this type of band. Taking the iconic drum solo out of such a classic song was definitely a risky move.

Shredhead - Devil's Race

  Yet another Israeli metal band who I don't know as much about as I should; Shreadhead are back after a breif hiatus, dropping this video for Devil's Race which comes from their second album Death Is Righteous released last year.  I've seen them a couple of times but nothing ever really stuck with me. Might just not be my bag, but they are one of the more popular bands that manage to gather fans from both the metal and hardcore scenes.
  The song takes in bits of thrash and death metal, mixing it with an anthemic Pantera-like chorus. The video largely features multi-camera live show footage with crowd close-ups as well as some tour bus/backstage stuff. The concept might be nothing new, but we get to see both the band and the crowd really giving it their all.

Matricide - Unreality

Here's another one. It's funny how many of these videos are actually coming out along time after the album's release. Unreality comes form Matricide's 2013 album, When Random Turns To Fate. Like Shredhead, Matricide are also doing pretty well for themselves out here in Israel, but I'm not entirely sure how well they are doing elsewhere. They are doing that popular Djent-influenced style metal that I'm not all that into but can appreciate why others are.
  This is quite an epic video, almost like a little movie, and the song is a little bit too long for my taste. However, it's well crafted and the musicianship is pretty flawless.

Peled - Ba Be Boom

Some hip hop now. Peled (apparently from Menchamia very close to the Jordan border) is one of those rappers that also moves in the Israeli alternative circles. Ba BeBoom (Hit You With A Boom) comes from the latest album HaKol Alay (Everything's On Me). It's the kind of rap rock mix that was popular in the early 00s. I just happen to be the type of person who still likes that sort of thing.
  I might still not be all that great with following rap in Hebrew, but you got to appreciate the flow. The video is like most southern (USA) hip hop videos. You've got a bunch of cars in a field, dirt bikes, smoking and some breakdancing. Although old concepts, it still comes across as a pretty fresh video and you can't fault the track...unless you're not into that kind of thing, then say what you like. 

Kitat Omanut - Chalumot Gadolim

Going to finish this off with something more punky from Kitat Omanut (Art Class). Hailing from Netanya, these guys play a mixture of alternative and punk rock. Chalumot Gadolim (Big Dreams), from the Rock Yisraeli (Israeli Rock) album, has a bit of a Brit Pop flavour while also sounding like Israeli alternative acts like HaShpung Shel HaPita (The Roll of the Pitta??) and even Israeli punk legends Bo LaBar (Come to the Bar). Both the song and the video are short and fun but I just can't help feel that it's maybe a little bit dated. But what do I know? I still like old Smash Mouth...

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