Video Premiere: “Water” by Gonzo LeBronzo

Get psyched with this trippy, AI-assisted new visual from the rock-and-roll OKC trio teasing its forthcoming debut LP

Like the best of psych rock, Gonzo LeBronzo jams out in the sweet spot between beefy, guitar-led grooves and heady, ponderous songwriting. It keeps everything tight and within reasonable runtimes, so while the band may provide a launchpad for a blastoff into the cosmos, it is too busy lighting fuses to lose itself in the esoteric starspace of, say, prog rock or sludge. These songs are grounded in a teeming jungle of sonic rebar.

That doesn’t mean the trio can’t touch the sky, though, as they do on last month’s first lead single, “Icaresque”. A portmanteau of “Icarus” and “picaresque,” its very nature is to soar with no strings attached. It does this with a chorus of cloud-cresting male falsetto and ride cymbal while guitar riffs provide lift and snare-dribbling drums fuel the engine. 

This song released alongside a music video that combined visual effects and on-location projections to offer some deep-fried crunch and visual delay. The video then closes with a hypnotic lingering on the band’s name, making sure the landing sticks—which it does—to promote its forthcoming debut record, Collapse Ecstatic, which releases July 31st. 

Today, Gonzo LeBronzo releases its second lead single, and it runs even farther with its visual resourcefulness thanks to a companion vertical music video that uses artificial intelligence to emphasize the band’s trippy tendencies. It’s called “Water”, and you can watch the visual below in this Make Oklahoma Weirder premiere.

For a track called “Water”, one might expect something laid back and loose. In a sense, it is. Its syncopated guitar riff and crisp rhythms keep the mood light while sustained vocal melodies surf over the top to hang the occasional ten. The music is rather gritty in its aqueousness, though, with grains of sea salt and sand in the flow and sharp rocks adding an element of danger in the low end of the mix. Lest listeners forget, the raw power of water has always been a force of destruction in addition to being a wellspring for life.

Gonzo LeBronzo captures a foreboding sense of chaos on “Water” with lyrics about things “coming undone” and “going insane.” Peaking into clouds of distortion, the lead vox aren’t stressed out so much as they are lamenting the inevitable. The song doesn’t spell out every bit of its inspiration, but it seems that a mistrust of love plays into it. In ways the band probably didn’t even intend, love and water make suitable companions in their hidden depths of situational potency.

The music video is a completely different beast with a fascinating origin story. Friend of the band Michael Raiden brought an app called WOMBO Dream to the team’s attention. It uses AI to generate artistic images based on prompts, but unlike viral hit DALL·E, it can be fed source photos.

Sparked with inspiration, Raiden joined all of the band members in feeding edited cell phone recordings through the app, frame by frame, over countless hours. The result, though, is killer. From paintbrush swirls to galaxian pointillism, the app incorporates artistic styles and occasionally finds ways to generate blink-length scenes of both natural and urban landscapes based on custom keyphrases.

Needless to say, Gonzo LeBronzo is doing cool stuff, and this latest release is even more reason to get hyped for Collapse Ecstatic, which is available for pre-order now on Bandcamp for a mere $5. If chaos and destruction sound this thoughtfully made, a crisp Lincoln would do well to buy into the madness.

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aka Jarvix, the Chief Executive Weirdo of Make Oklahoma Weirder. His out-of-the-box music coverage has been published by the Oklahoma Gazette, KOSU, and The Oklahoman among others. He also makes DIY music as a solo multi-instrumentalist live looper in his spare time.

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