By: Jef Rouner
If you don't remember Chris Holmes from his stint as lead guitarist in W.A.S.P., you may be forgiven. The band was, after all, just another hair-metal act, and not one whose work has particularly stood the test of time. On the other hand, if you don't remember Chris Holmes from his interview in the Penelope Spheeris documentary The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years, then you might have brain damage.
Who could ever forget Holmes floating in a swimming pool on an inflatable chair, swigging vodka from three separate bottles and babbling incoherently as his mom looked on, worried? It's arguably the greatest interview in music-documentary history.
His latest video is the music-video equivalent of that interview. Oh. My. God.
I was sent “Let It Roar” by a friend, who has apparently made it a full-time hobby to expose me to terrible metal videos until I snap. Well the joke's on him, because I made it through all 4:42 minutes of this mess. However, I could only do so by marking each progressive bit of surrealism that Holmes unleashes over the video's course. Here follows that chronology.
0:01: Holmes has a boat called Mean Man. I thought boats were supposed to be named after women. Maybe there's a woman named Mean Man. I should respect her life choices.
0:09: I'm 99 percent certain this riff is just “Rock You Like a Hurricane” played incorrectly.
0:21: What is the Sammy Hagar of Sammy Hagar? Because that's what Chris Holmes looks like.
0:28: For some reasons Holmes is helpfully pointing out the location of this video on a map. I can only assume it's so that his many fans will be able to reenact his walking on piers. Either that or he wants some company.
0:40: You call a song “Let It Roar” and your first lyric is “You'd best be getting ready.” I'm pretty sure that should not coincide with a shot of our metal mean man sitting calmly in his house drinking tea. No, it's not more metal if you ball up your non-teacup holding hand.
0:45: Also, your blood cannot be boiling sprawled out in a chair with your feet up on an ottoman. Come on, man.
0:53: Time for a mid-video snack! I think he just ate a raw spring onion.
0:56: Chris Holmes is so amazing that he can play the piano in his house and it still comes out sounding exactly like an electric guitar. There is literally no difference. That is very impressive to me.
1:12: In times of great personal crisis, Holmes takes refuge and strength from this statue of a lioness licking her cub. Who wouldn't?
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1:15: It's snack time again already! Better get you some soft serve if'n you're going to have the caloric fortitude to let it roar.
1:22: Suddenly it's night.
1:23: Nope, my bad. Day.
1:25: No wait, night…am I having a stroke?
1:42: At this point Holmes is simultaneously playing his guitar at the beach, in an empty club, and outside of a closed cotton-candy stand. I think he's angry because his third snacktime was thwarted by that last one. You know how it is when you haven't eaten in 30 seconds. Suddenly calling people whores and flipping them off seems the only logical thing to do.
2:02: Judging by what's written on his stock, either Holmes is an animal or his guitar is. I think it's the latter because half the time it seems to be playing itself while Holmes does Hulkamania poses.
2:14: Skull? Check. Jack Daniel's bottle? Check. Harley-Davidson? Check. Fish-eye driving shot? Check. If a blonde with big boobs and bigger hair comes out of nowhere, I get an '80s hair-metal bingo!
2:33: Holmes is being followed around by a ghost posse of bikers. They're not in the band or anything. I think they're hoping he'll lead them to snacks.
2:53: In all fairness, Holmes can still write a solid solo. It's nothing to write Mom about or anything, but it's at least a B+.
2:55: WHY DO YOU HAVE A FEATHER?
3:06: Annnnnnnnd now we're going fishing (and it's day again). It's seriously like Holmes asked himself, “What are the least metal things I can put in a metal video?”
3:20: Do you really want it louder, Chris? Won't that scare away the fish? Water is a great audio conductor, you know. Oh, guess not. He caught a big fish. Good for him. This whole experience is making me feel like I should spend more time with my dad.
3:30: All credit where credit is due, I am deeply ashamed of myself for never having come up with the lyric “decibel shower.” Point, Holmes.
3:37: On the other hand, he keeps talking about his ear lobes bleeding, and I'm starting to be troubled regarding his grasp of biology as it relates to damage to the ears from loud noises.
4:20: Holmes flips us off again as he exits the empty club he just jammed in. Frankly, I feel we deserve it.
4:30: We finish with Holmes walking silently into the sea…or we would if the end of the jetty wasn't right there and we didn't know for a fact he was just going to sit at the end of it and gnaw the fish he caught. I've seen a lot of music videos in my time, but none that ever made so little sense. Tommy Wisseau should see if Holmes will do the soundtrack for the sequel The Room.