Video Premiere: Castle Rat – “Cry For Me”

New York City is definitely known for being overrun by rats, and you can add Brooklyn psych doom cult Castle Rat to the infestation. This retro-sounding quartet—Riley Pinkerton (vocals/guitar/”Rat Queen”), Franco Vittore (lead guitar/”Count”), Ronnie Lanzilotta III (bass/”Plague Doctor”), Josh Strmic (drums/”The All-Seeing Druid”)—have conjured a brand new video for the slow-building, doomy track, “Cry For Me,” in anticipation of the release of their debut full-length, Into the Realm. The video, shot and directed (on VHS, no less) by Kathryn Barnish, offers a surreal, Medieval battle between the Rat Queen (Pinkerton) and the Rat Reaperess (Maddy Wright) in a snowy landscape. Though large swords and scythes are brandished, the video is surprisingly (mostly) blood and gore free.

Into the Realm was recorded, engineered and mixed by Davis M. Shubs and Thomas Johnsen, and is set for release April 12 on vinyl, CD, cassette and digitally via King Volume and Wise Blood Records. Preorder from King Volume here and from Wise Blood here.

Here’s what Riley had to say about the video:

“Via the power of The Realm, I was fortunate enough to successfully manifest New York’s first (and perhaps only) heavy snowstorm of the winter, in alignment with our video shoot. However, the journey to the location was harrowing—watching cars slip and slide off the highway kept tensions high on the two-plus-hour drive from NYC—but miraculously, the band made it safely upstate. We arrived shaken, but in one piece, and we managed to pull off the entire music video shoot in a matter of hours.

The video was shot on VHS by our friend and longtime visual collaborator Kathryn Barnish, who directed and edited the video as well. I also collaborated with Dillan Archer on creating the classically campy castle archway for the video set, which was hosted in his backyard. I am very proud of how this DIY-style production turned out. My aim was for this video to feel like looking through a portal to another time, and the whole team nailed it start to finish.”