A femme fatale stands in the foreground. Bathed in neon light, she brandishes a riding crop and commands the shadowy figure in the background to drop the needle on a record.
The visual component of the described scene above is not the deviant portion of The Ex-Bombers’ promotional film for their latest album “Five Star Night.” The film noir pop duo’s release of music exclusively on vinyl without a digital counterpart is the portion that defies all normative expectations.
“We needed the visual to have this seedy and sultry presence, just like listening to the record over a glass of absinthe,” said drummer and vocalist Keri Cousins. The resultant video hearkens back to the lo-fi promotional films of the late 1960s with a substantial with a streak of Warhol.
Following the same path as their 2012 debut LP and 2013 seven inch anti-single, The Ex-Bombers’ latest album committed a combination of sultry 50s jazz with a seedy variant of 60s garage rock directly to tape, to lacquer and then virgin vinyl. No digital copies of the songs actually exist.
However, in the digital world, booking performances, doing promotions and conducting media relations necessitates an accessible sampling of music. In conjunction with their label Cavetone Records, the duo attempted to reflect the immediacy of 33 1/3 revolutions per minute at 24 frames per second.
“In the promo film, we play the record in a logical continuation of the album artwork,” said 8-string bass player and vocalist Scott Walus. “The video is a long take, just like the single groove per side of a record. In that moment, the audience is caught up in a new type of gaze. It’s unsettling, but provocative.”