Machine Head – Now We Die: A Video Breakdown
It’s been quite a roller-coaster career for Machine Head.
I can’t think of another band to go from white hot to ice cold and then somewhere around room temperature. Machine Head’s debut album Burn My Eyes received wide acclaim and was a best seller for Roadrunner Records. The sky was the limit for the band and then nu-metal happened. Or more precisely, nu-metal and music videos happened.
Many point to Machine Head’s “From This Day” video as the low-point. Robb Flynn sported liberty-spiked hair and a bizarre jumpsuit, the drummer had a cheetah dye job, the guitarist’s bizarre pseudo-eastern getup, and the bad green screen effects. Almost lost in the visual car wreck was the simplified music and rapping. The decline continued with their release of Supercharger. The cliche-filled video for “Crashing Around You” doesn’t nearly get as much flack as “From This Day,” but it deserves it. The departure from the music that made them popular and the god-awful videos really did a number on Machine Head, with jokes still hounding Flynn to this day. He probably wakes up in the middle of the night with a cold sweat, rap lyrics still in his head.
In recent years, Machine Head has managed to make a comeback and kudos to them. A lesser band would have probably folded or changed their name. While their past few albums have had varying degrees of quality and success, one must appreciate that they were able to focus on their craft and return to some prominence in the metal scene. But it wasn’t just the music that was the problem, remember? The music is better, but what about their videos?
0:05: Clowns playing violins. I get it! Hold on. Nope. Don’t get it.
0:09: Pagliacci is kvlt!
0:15: Matt Pike’s Sweaty Nipple!
0:21: Shirtless Grandpa on loan from COPS
0:26: Clowngasm. UHHHHH *honkhonk*!
0:35: Uh, video. It’s really difficult to focus on things when the shots change EVERY TWO SECONDS.
0:42: I really hope Robb Flynn’s chair has nails on the seat too.
0:53: Give me some skull. Heh heh heh. Wait, I fucked it up. Can we start over?
1:02: Ewww stinky Robb Flynn breath. Someone needs a mint!
1:12: Aw, son. Drugs’ll end ya.
1:18: A “Two-Headed Queen” goes for about $300 in the Red-Light District.
1:21: Budget constraints forced the executioner to perform in his undies.
1:31: Damn it, Robb. I just cleaned up this skull-filled pit.
1:42: What’s with the stripes? Are those old-timey prisoner clowns?
1:45: It’s good to be the queen(s).
1:51: I don’t even know why I bother cleaning around here.
1:54: You have chosen….poorly.
2:08: I understand blurring the naughty bits, but why the face?
2:12: Grandpa, pie goes in your mouth.
2:18: Alright, we’ve got 7 minutes to kill. What effects can we use to eat up time?
2:24: Hey, it’s the devil from those boxes of Red Hot Dollars!
2:38: Yeah, ghost peppers will do that to you.
2:54: I’m starting to get the feeling that Machine Head has a Slipknot fetish.
3:00: Director: Ok guys. Just stare at the camera and look angry. Give me your GRRR face! GRRRRRRR harder!
3:13: I hear you’re a butcher. Do you link your own sausages?
3:21: I was kidding before about the Slipknot fetish thing, but this seals it.
3:32: Where…where are those sparks coming from exactly?
3:38: Apparently it was two-for-one gas masks at the Army/Navy store that day.
3:50: We’ve hit peak blurred boobs everyone. Repeat: Peak blurred boobs.
3:56: Fucking drums! BYAH!
4:01: Shhhh don’t wake him up. Lil’ guy’s all tuckered out.
4:06: Who wants s’mores?!
4:09: No thanks, Robb. I’m all skulled out.
4:14: At least Kommandant finally gets some mainstream exposure.
4:18: Well that escalated quickly.
4:25: Where did all these people come from? Where’s the queen? WHERE’S GRANDPA?!
4:29: No spitting. It’s not ladylike.
4:37: I’d hate to see what these guys do to the other bands on the Heavy Metal 2000 soundtrack.
4:45: Hey… let’s poke ’em with a stick!
4:52: AHHHH! KILL IT! KILL IT WITH FIRE!
5:06: Uh… you guys want to help him down or something? He’s clearly still alive.
5:10: At least cartoon Devil is having a blast.
5:23: I will die laughing if they just start whacking them like pinatas.
5:37: Can someone get her a phone book to stand on or something?
5:51: It would be far more subtle to just hit the camera with a giant crucifix. Cheaper too.
6:02: Quick, get his wallet!
6:12: NOW WEDGIE.
6:25: Good thing they spent all that time and money on that sundial prop thingy.
6:38: Aw forget it. Clean it yourself!
6:45: Remind me never to invite Machine Head to a campfire.
6:49: Hey hey hey
6:59: Oh hai, “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails
Well that certainly was a music video. All seven minutes of it. With a nod to W‘s recent Think Tank article about music videos, was it money well spent? Is a new fan going to sit through all seven minutes of that and then decide they like the band? Was it worth the time, effort and money? Would they have been better off with a cheap lyrics video or just uploading the song with some pictures of the album and where to buy it? I can’t really say, but it was worth seeing Robb Flynn drool all over himself.