Review of Web's Intimidation & Shame

By Anthony Johns

Weaving wildly illustrative and grinding grungy guitars together with love, violence, social unrest and football, Portsmouth-based band “Web” have released spellbinding video “Intimidation & Shame”, a work which, rather than like a music video, seems to induce the effect of a particularly strong social-commentary arthouse cinema short. Like in some 90s novella shown in the early hours of the morning on Channel 4, our protagonist, and presumably vocalist, wakes up from a nightmare and is jarred into the reality of the completely bare, plastically-generic UK box-bedroom. To soften the blow, he takes a gulp from a half-finished can of Carling on the bedside table.

Ingeniously blending a tale of unrequited love with the video’s UK gang violence, the vocalist gives the sound of being a veteran singer we’ve grown up with, while at the same time gifting us with a fresh sound we’ve never heard before. “I couldn’t bear to look” screams the vocalist as he recalls his girlfriend’s grandfather swerving round the corner to physically remind him, in no uncertain terms, never to write to his grand-daughter again. For almost what seems like half of the entire song, the singer obsessively screeches the line “I never threw it away”, referring to this fateful, life-altering letter.

In slow motion, two lads who’ve kick-started the day with second-hand cans of Carling stride into a the pool-room of a pub. The game stirs up a mode of violence within the four band members, all the while imaginatively accompanied by footage and commentary from the 2008 Portsmouth Cardiff F.A. Cup Final. Confronted by a rival gang in a scene reminiscent of Kubrick’s film “A Clockwork Orange”, the band seem to be losing the fight, when the singer triumphantly holds up the still-beating and bloody heart of the rival gang’s leader.

By the end of the video clip, we’re left with the overwhelmingly mournful feeling that love, violence and the competitive element are somehow inescapably and inexplicably linked. What a godawful state of affairs. A brilliant piece of work.

Production of "Intimidation and Shame"






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