Outstanding and original music videos seem to be a bit of a rarity these days. Long gone are the days when music videos had story lines worthy of film adaptation, or when videos were banned for something OTHER than seeing far too much ass and tits. Originality in a world saturated by visuals seems to come pretty hard, but Minus the Bear with the video for ‘My Time’, is a truly outstanding contribution to the visual world that proves it is not impossible to be original in the 21st century.
It opens quietly, with an unassuming singular dancer centre frame against a white background. When the music kicks in – a fantastic point of the track itself, from which I was completely hooked – there is an explosion of colour on screen, with rapid changes to the beat of the song. It is a delightfully simple idea, but it is often the case that the simplest things in life are the most effective, and this can certainly said for this visual masterpiece. The use of colours and overlapping would not be out of place on an OK Go video, which is an accolade in itself for the relatively unknown quintet. OK Go, having recently won best music video at the UK Music Video Awards, demonstrate what music videos should be – fun, original, and quirky – a style that Minus the Bear have replicated fantastically, without it being too derivative.
And the song itself it pretty damn good too. The synth throughout it catchy to say the least, whilst the vocals of Jake Snider are stunningly simple.
Another notable video from the foursome comes from ‘Knights’, which is equally as aesthetically pleasing. The opening is a little dizzying, with the mirrored images dissolving into one another at such high speed it makes your head hurt, but this soon gives way to a video that is simply genius. They do some rather clever things with guitars, candles, card houses, and tvs, all put together through mirrored images that makes it the kind of video NOT to watch with a hangover. But the best moment comes at about three minutes, where a shot of lead Jake Snider doubled up, but with his face upside down on one side, which was mind boggling to say the least.
Minus the Bear really have mastered the steady dying form of the music video, showing that not all things visual have to be controversial to be worth noting. Check out their youtube page for some more visual contributions from the Seattle quintet: