Arcane Roots are a British three-piece progressive/alternative rock that sound MASSIVE. I’ve had the opportunity to see them live while I was living in the UK, and boy are they good on stage! They might only be a three-piece but they fill-up the room both sonically and energetically. This song, entitled Habibty, is a hectic number. It shows exactly how well Arcane Roots use dynamics to balance-out their tracks. From heavy polyrhythmic riffs to chime-like clean sections, and soaring hooks to murmured melodies, one sure thing is that they know how to convey guts and passion. Vocals harmonies blend and build-up perfectly into half-time beat-downs played on the crunchiest single-coil tone ever; it shouldn’t work, but somehow it does perfectly.
The music video for this song was produced by Daryl A and Arcane Roots themselves. The camera work is pure energy, it changes from angle to angle and slow-motion to standard frame-rate in a heartbeat. The desaturated tone of the picture is particularly efficient with the light work going on in the background, and adds to the dramatic and emotional message that the song conveys.
While I’m not the biggest Deftones fan, actually I barely listen to any of their stuff, I must admit that this song grew on me. On the other hand, I am and always have
been a big progressive/alternative music fan but I’ve learnt to understand that not everyone’s ear is accustomed to such tonal qualities, tempo changes and harmonic changes. But this track definitely hits home. With a very simplistic but very efficient main riff, the ‘less is more’ type of approach works every single bit. And with layers of octave chords droning in the background, the tension just builds up to the point where the lyrics sing ‘tonight the stage is yours’ and a powerful riff full of drive comes in and grasps the listener. The modal change into the chorus is also great at releasing the tension and the low-end on the guitars just makes it really hard not to pull a jazz face of approval to. The soaring vocals full of reverb and delay make it all the more epic and work all too well to make this chorus as catchy as could be. It needs to be said that Rich Costey and Eric Isip did an absolutely phenomenal job at mixing the whole album, Koi No Yokan, Deftones’ seventh studio album. They have managed to squeeze out every little bit of guts and tonal qualities that the tracks had to offer.
Even though none of the members of the band appear or perform in the video, it’s got Deftones written all over it. Instead of having as corny of a concept as a band performing to their own song, or a cheesy storyline, they asked world-renowned professional skateboarder Jason Park to shoot a reel around night-time L.A. Other professional skater, Brett Novak shot the footage following Park around the city’s most infamous concrete landmarks and backdrops. He produced the music video with the goal in mind to convey the band members’ passion for skating. The video was premiered by RedBull.com and frontman Chino Moreno tells them in an article that “When we started this record cycle, we decided that we didn’t want to make any videos whatsoever. They’re not much fun to make and they usually turn out pretty corny. But this was an idea that we were interested in because we’re all very keen skateboarders and we like the idea of marrying one of our songs to someone as talented as Jason Park.” And even though the band members aren’t shown directly in the video, their presence can be pointed out on billboards in the background of Park’s skating.
In my opinion what truly makes the video is the level of creativity that Park displays around the streets. You see him landing sweet tricks that aren’t ‘in the books’ and it really shows that he’s having a good time. You can also hear the noises and clunks that the deck makes against the concrete when he lands tricks or power slides over sidewalks. You can also see Park bail out of tricks and have pretty big falls and that, is to me, what makes a decent skate edit. Novak also did a really good job at editing the video, using slow-motion and trick landings to emphasise upbeats and downbeats respectively. It gives the video a more artistic feel.