Phatrabbit’s new video for their song “Skinny Legs” is a travelogue of sorts, a collage of the past and present— where the band has been and where they’re headed. Scenery blurs together as a lone traveller boards a bus and heads to the beach, dipping his feet into the sand before his head sinks below the waves. The passing guard rails, trees and Taco Bells ;) all hint at the past that Phatrabbit is leaving behind. But “Skinny Legs” looks forward too. Voice cracks and impassioned group vocals hint at a deeper angst, a desire to arrive.
While guitars jangle and loop over driving drums in the central solo of the song, video director Henry Kinder ('17) includes old footage from Phatrabbit’s last-day-of-freshman-year, definitely illicit Guerilla Show in the WestCo Triple (which at the time was the room of 3 Phatrabbit members). Splicing the room's flashing blue lights together with photos of the band cracking smiles on stage and strumming guitars in the sunny grass, it’s a potent reminder of the band's history. They're going on four years of not only music, but also kinship and connection.
As this central passage fades, the video re-opens on the bandmates in the bathroom. Will Dudek ('17) sloshes up out of the tub, Andrew Rock ('17) brushes his teeth in a halo of morning light, Eli Spector ('17) croons down a hallway, and Josh Bloom ('17) strums in a sunny adjacent room. There is bedhead all around and coy smiles as each band member takes their turn singing the song's softly sweet outro.
It’s a testament to Kinder's vision that the video feels like a journey, that Phatrabbit has been wandering and maybe, just maybe, they've found their place—a moment of effortless friendship on a hazy Sunday morning. “Skinny Legs” has been a staple of Phatrabbit’s repertoire since the very beginning. It brings up the best comparisons to breezy 90’s rockers like Built to Spill and Sebadoh, and Kinder's video feels like the perfect capsule for the song. It's at once an end point and the beginning of new life for a track that's been bouncing for years around Wesleyan's campus.
Phatrabbit will be performing songs from their new record tonight at Music House with Bossy and DJ Llyod. Rumor has it they just dropped their new record in its entirety on the Internet. Stay tuned to Aural Wes for a full write up and feature on the four-piece, and links to the new music tomorrow. Nobody is 17 in Phatrabbit anymore, but we'll never stop singing that Taco Bell tune like we're young and dumb and invincible.
By Ryan Breen and Megan West