Thursday, November 25, 2010

Vaulting - "We Are the Cavalry" Video

So. It's Thanksgiving. The best of us will try to extrapolate some meaning from the holiday, acknowledging the sad truths about its origins (check out this link for some background -- courtesy of Mama Rosenbloom) while setting aside some time to remember how lucky we are to congregate with people we love. The rest of us will walk like tryptophan zombie sheep through an annual cycle, visiting our families out of a combined sense of affection and obligation (the exact proportions depend on the family). We will stuff ourselves, get drunk, talk about nothing in particular, and wake up early the next day to participate in the disgusting communal ritual of "Black Friday." Another year, another Thanksgiving come and gone. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Germany has its own version of Thanksgiving, a religious celebration called Erntedankfest (literally "harvest festival of gratitude" - read more here). As far as I know, the gents in German death/grind act Vaulting didn't intend the song "We Are the Cavalry" to relate to Thanksgiving. But its lyrics -- like many grindcore lyrics -- handily address how easy it is to turn a meaningful process (in this case, being in a band) into something mechanical:

Birdie, sleep well
Far glimpse from hell
Boredom an insecure partner to keep you from death
Rest in your shell
Distant music sounds
Radio, party starts, let's exercise our art
They begin, let us in
Let us go, do our show
We will rock, time to shock
Celebrate, lacerate
Is this honourful?
Staring down, stripped down
Defiled pride
And without a whisper
We are the cavalry

Their video for the song, directed and edited by Vaulting's guitarist Matthias Gathof, captures that same idea: the suffocating, ritualized normalcy of white-collar life is leading us to spiritual suicide. Again, that's an idea that grindcore bands have hammered home since Napalm Death's debut, Scum. What's more interesting about this video is how plain the shots of Vaulting are. Grindcore's full-frontal assault is broken into its constituent parts, set against stark white backdrops. Precisely-picked guitar strings. Quivering snare and kickdrum heads. A mouth, opening wide to scream. These are the mundane details that still remain powerful. These are the rituals for which I remain eternally thankful.

Download or stream Vaulting's excellent Modis Humanis EP at the band's Bandcamp site.