With the one year anniversary of Violent Scenes‘ Simmung EP fast approaching (a masterclass in the creative utilization of sound within the shoegaze genre, released locally last year in the band’s native Italy), we are being treated to a music video for the track “Zebra OPN” ahead of the EP’s European release on June 12, 2020 via Angapp records. A sort-of reinterpretation of the song “Zebra” by electronic artist Oneohtrix Point Never, Violent Scenes have lifted the glitchy ethos of the original and applied it to their shoegaze style, resulting in something cool and different – with an accompanying music video tailored to fit, which we are pleased to be premiering for you here at Everything Is Noise! Check it out below:
The video features dynamic, overlaid scenes of the band recording music and painting, with the images bleeding into and out of each other. The intensity of the flow of images matches the twisting rhythm of the music, while the almost dusty color palette lends a nostalgic atmosphere to the experience. The band members themselves are seldom seen in full – usually just dark silhouettes behind the painted canvases – rendering a dreamlike quality accentuated by the video’s warm, shimmering tint.
The most obvious tribute to the original “Zebra” is the chopped up guitar that intermittently flickers throughout the track, providing the bones of the piece. Around this glitchy base, layers of airy synths, warped and almost inhuman vocals, and hair-raising guitar screeches swirl in a dissonant storm. This abstract intro soon coalesces into dreamlike coherence, with clean guitars taking lead, accompanied by beautiful singing. These various elements eventually unify – charging forward and upward – before cranking down to an abrupt, dark close, with whispered vocals hinting at something menacing to follow.
My only objection is that I didn’t get to find out where those final notes were plunging into! “Zebra OPN” is an exciting, imaginative take on shoegaze that hints at further grandiosity and creativity. As the final track on the EP it’s a true cliffhanger of a tune, and I for one am curious to hear where Violent Scenes take their accessible, yet unpredictable, sound next.
You can learn more about Violent Scenes over at their label Angapp. As the European release date approaches for Simmung, be sure to follow the band on Facebook and Instagram for updates and news. You can get the EP and the band’s other quality compositions over at Bandcamp.