NY’s Netherlands have, over the course of two full lengths, defied categorization and easy placement into any one genre. Sludge, post-punk, psychedelic, progressive and rock are all tags that fit but to wrap it up with a bow and call it ‘X’ is difficult if not impossible. I’m just going with different and immensely addictive. The band has signed with Prosthetic and will be releasing their third full length Audubon this spring. In the meantime, the video for their heavily satisfying lead off single “The Bottom of the Ocean” is the focus of this Visions ov Hell and will serve as the extra shot of caffeine needed for a Monday morning.
Mastermind and frontman Timo Ellis has been around the NYC scene for quite awhile and has been involved in a laundry list of projects and even more guest slots. Netherlands is yet another extension of his creative vision. The band has made it crystal clear in the past that they are unpredictable, shifting from psycho pop on one song to bone crunching Melvins-esque heaviness on the next. And sometimes all this happens in the same song. But for me, this left field approach is what keeps me coming back.
The song broods from the beginning with a low, heavy riff and as the seconds tick off so does the timer on the bomb that you can just feel is about to detonate at any moment. When it finally does the sound is intense. The thick, fuzzy low end from Ava Farber’s synthbass is the heart of the song from beginning to end. Ellis’s vocals are cleanly sung for the most part, ranging from a Zack De La Rocha approach to echoed passages and much like their previous efforts, his delivery is spot on. The way all this comes together is amazing, catchy and will completely clear your calender for however many times you need to spin it to feel satisfied.
Frank Huang directed the video and just as he perfectly captures shows for his site Pit Full of Shit, he does the same here. The footage looks old — black and white with a VHS feel to it, complete with wavy lines and a grainy look. It’s just a room, the band, their instruments and this song played to the hilt. Huang employs mirror images, and split appearances to really drive home the heavier moments. The lack of color when focused on Ellis and his many facial expressions is haunting to say the least. After many, and I do mean many, spins I can’t imagine this thing being shot any different. Huang’s choices here are the perfect fit for this track. So dive in below and see for yourself but, be prepared to have a new favorite that you simply won’t be able to get enough of.