What once stood as an paean to viscous rhythms and sludgy fretwork — that being the ever-shifting industrial punk band Razorhouse — has now broadened its scope and incorporated aspects of art rock, noise rock, and oddly affecting singer-songwriter inclinations into a fully formed, definitive statement of intent from the band. Singer Mark Panick still coats every syllable with his oozing, back alley howl, but there is a curious sense of pop construction sitting behind him now. It doesn’t dull the edge so much as place everything in stark perspective. The lyrics bite harder and the less abrasive instrumentation creeps slowly under your skin like a shadow broken off from some deserted graveyard.
Nowhere is this contrast more evident than on the band’s new single, “Dedicated Love.” A spiraling story of addiction and unhealthy love, the track documents in detail the results of a drug-fueled relationship and the cost that is often paid as a result. Panick and his ever rotating cast of musicians plow through the heady narrative on waves of understated riffage, thumping piano lines, and the singer’s manic growl. There is a blues-y feeling that permeates the entire track — like Mark Lanegan channeling Robert Johnson, while waiting for Tom Waits at the juke joint just around the corner. And it’s in this seedy, dive-bar environment that “Dedicated Love” finds its place, guiding along wayward souls like a drug addiction’s own personal Charon on the River Styx.
In the accompanying video, the frontman takes a slightly surreal and bizarre approach to the depiction of addiction and his own apparent understanding of it. Made up like some bobble-headed toy, and through a series of lo-tech camera tricks, Panick finds himself as the visage of a toy doll, complete with attached alcohol bottle and syringes glued to the wall. Interspersed with these odd images is the story of two young lovers and dual users who find out what can happen when neither one bothers to change their habits. Not for the faint of heart, the video shows in detail the disastrous results that come from enabling each other’s addiction.
Beats Per Minute is pleased to premiere the video for Razorhouse’s new single, “Dedicated Love.”