Go underground — literally — with Middle Class Rut’s new clip.
It’s fitting that the new video for Middle Class Rut’s “Pick Up Your Head” finds the Sacramento duo crawling through an underground tunnel, as the song itself sounds like it’s being broadcast from the depths of a dark, foreboding cave.
The clip, animated by Steven Mertens and Chris Tucci, follows vocalist/guitarist Zack Lopez and vocalist/drummer Sean Stockham as they encounter a series of increasingly alarming scenarios and diabolical characters, from a haunting figure trying to run them over with a steamroller to an insidious-looking chef doing something weird to a lobster.
Meanwhile, Lopez sings: “I don’t set out to please them/ God, I don’t need them/ Gotta be something in the food they feed them.” Note to self: Don’t try the lobster.
“We wanted to have a distinct sound,” Lopez said of the recording process for their 2013 album of the same name. “Instead of jamming together, I’d write a bassline or a vocal melody. Sean would lay down a tempo and we’d write around that. For percussion, we’d use whatever was laying around — pots and pans, an old desk — anything with a nice crack and ring to it.”
You can definitely hear that in the clattering, kitchen sink-style percussion, before the track explodes into a more agitated, furious shouter.
“Once we decided to take an ’anything goes’ approach, the songs poured out,” he said. “We were freer with layering and didn’t worry if we couldn’t reproduce it live, as long as we captured the music with the highest energy possible.”
It’s a song, and a video, about breaking free from the hellish monotony of the norm — the hypnotized drones wandering around an abyss-like pit and the Devil delivering mail from “The Man” kind of hammer that point home. Major takeaways? Pick up your head, be freer, and don’t worry how things are going to turn out. Oh, and don’t try the lobster.
Photo credit: Bright Antenna Records