‘Punk Spirit’ - the new single from Wave Machines – is, with its catalogue of non-confrontation, a shout-a-long anthem for people who’d rather sit on their hands and bite their tongue than break someone’s nose. It is a song “dedicated to anyone who ever ran away from a fight, then daydreamed an epic victory from the safety of their bed.” It also happens to be one of the finest tracks on Wave Machines’ recently released debut album, Wave If You’re Really There.
The raw guitars and almost spoken vocals of ‘Punk Spirit’ mean it stands out from the electro-pop sweetness of the Liverpool band’s debut like a sore thumb, but in a very good way. So when Drowned In Sound was given the opportunity to go along to the shoot for the music video for the single’s release we naturally jumped at the chance.
The shoot location, a vast evergreen woodland near a hamlet so terrifically backward someone must have been pumping mercury into the water supply for the last fifty years, is daunting to say the least. At the local pub a rat-faced old farmer sits in the corner clutching a pint of bitter in one hand and a brace of freshly slain rabbit in the other. Country bumpkins look on in shock as a lighting rig the size of a minke whale is wheeled into the middle of the forest where, in the dead of night, the shoot is to take place.
After 24 hours of shouting and take after take after take, the resulting three and a bit minutes of video – with its glaring searchlights and flailing figures darting unexpectedly through the inky black woodlands - resembles a cross between The Blair Witch Project, 28 Days Later and the promo for Coldplay’s 'Yellow'.
According to lead singer Timothy Bruzon:
“We wanted to focus on this idea of going against your judgement. The song is about following your instinct and avoiding confrontation but in the video we see someone doing the opposite and heading fearlessly towards something that everyone else is running away from.”
“'Punk Spirit' reflects a recurring feeling of disappointment in yourself when time and time again you’ve opted for flight rather than fight. I used to love listening to Jello Biafra singing 'Falling Space Junk', about plutonium irradiating the earth and everyone dying of cancer and find it fascinating and terrifying at the same time. I wish I could be that forthright … but I simply don't have that punk attitude. Boo hoo for me.”
‘Boo hoo’ for him but ‘Hooray!’ for us, because we’ve got our Punk Spirit just where we need it.
Available for download and physical release from 31st August.
Photos: Sam Mitchell