The video for Chris Mars’s new song, “Down by the Tracks,” is like a cinematic version of a China Miéville novel as scored by the Kinks in 1968. (There’s more going on there, but that should grab the right people’s interest.)
Chris Mars, the former Replacements drummer who virtually abandoned music to become a painter of weird, disturbing landscapes and portraits, has apparently returned to songwriting. His website says he has an album coming out next year.
The tune features a psychedelic narrative about a “pancake marmalack” and “floating dice.” Like the material on Mars’s 1990s solo records, it has a distinctly British Invasion feel.
Clearly, Mars is having fun blending his music with the iconography of his weird paintings and videos. The recent Replacements biography, Trouble Boys, notes Mars’ discovery of H.R. Giger as a major moment in his artistic development. When I saw the the video on Facebook, people mentioned Tim Burton and Neil Gaiman in the comments.
The video is an early Christmas gift for Replacements fans who like bizarre sci-fi visuals and catchy songwriting.