Review: Real Estate “Water Underground”

Posted on: December 5, 2023
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Screenshot 2023-12-05 at 11.58.51 PM

// By Stephanie Robinson (aka Stefny! at the Disco)

Real Estate’s new video for “Water Underground” is the most excellent video I have seen in a long time. For older millennials (and maybe younger gen-Xers), this video will reawaken a piece of you that you forgot existed.

“It all started on Turnbuckle Road.” The scenery and colouring are immediately recognizable as soon as the video opens, with the band stopped on a residential street in a place called Wellsville. “Why does that sound familiar?” drummer Sammi Niss asks. Then the true art begins.

The Adventures of Pete and Pete” was a masterpiece of early-90s television. Although made for kids, the absurdity and incredible cast of guest stars – including Michael Stipe, Debbie Harry, Iggy Pop, and Kate Pierson, to name only a few! – made it a staple even for their parents.

“Water Underground” not only pays tribute to the visual aesthetic of the original series, but also features both Big Pete and Little Pete. Michael C. Maronna and Danny Tamberelli aren’t technically referred to as their classic characters in the video, but they are a dynamic duo. Original series creators Chris Viscardi and Will McRobb also produced the video.

The video itself recalls some iconic series moments, like when Big Pete took his driving test, when Dad and Mr. Hickle had a feud involving an RC car and action figure, and when Dad took the family on a road trip. The band is even listening to WART Radio, Little Pete’s pirate radio station hosted from his garage on a walkie-talkie. Honestly, I could be here all day pointing out all the references. It’s one giant Easter egg.

Evidently, Tamberelli and members of the band grew up together in NJ. They look like they had a blast and a half making this video and I’m sure they did.

Needless to say, I’ve been watching full episodes of Pete and Pete all day. Thank you, Real Estate, for making me feel like a little kid again.

Tune into Beat Happenings on Friday, December 8 at 6pm where I will be playing “Water Underground” and maybe more songs inspired by my recent nostalgia.