Flint alt-rock quartet Mercy Beach are no stranger to us here at the Banana. They appeared many times and were often victorious on our now defunct local show, The Flint Town Throwdown (R.I.P.), and even scored the #1 Throw Down song of 2013.

After some retooling in 2014 and a lot of quiet behind-the-scenes work, the band is starting to unleash the fruits of their labor. One incredibly tasty piece of said fruit, is their new stop-motion animated music video for a song that generated more buzz than any other track we played on the Throw Down -- 'My Pet Monster.'

The video amplifies everything that makes the song fun and unique, while telling the story of a psychotic toy through the magic of stop-motion animation. We have to admit, seeing our favorite toys from the 1980s brought to life and doing battle make this video a special slice of awesomeness.

The process of stop motion is well-known as tedious and time-consuming, as every frame of footage has to be shot individually. The idea to shoot it in stop-motion came from Chris Lewis of Fire Hyena Studios, who has recorded all of Mercy Beach's music since 2007. The band immediately loved the idea and embarked on a two-and-a-half year journey to bring it to fruition.

As with any project that is as intensive and lengthy as this one, there were several bumps in the road. In fact, frontman Mike Roland told us there were a few times they felt like pulling the plug on the entire operation. "There were issues in the middle of the process where we had several actors quit that set us back months," said Roland, "which is why I ended up heading down to Florida to shoot it with myself as the [lead] actor."

Despite the fact that he added lead acting duties on top of lead vocal and lead guitar, Roland tells us that a music video this demanding is never a one-man show. "Drey Andrus devoted so much of her time to the project and Brian Vroman gave it a little bit of a sparkle on the end product."

Now that the music video for what is, perhaps, their most infectious tune to date has been realized, the band is gearing up to move forward with the release of their next project. They are planning to release a new album of acoustic and piano based tracks called '2:22' in late February or early March. They also have a few shows lined up in the area as well, which you can see listed below.

1/31/15 -- Hot Spot (opening for Cash O' Riley), Owosso, MI
2/06/15 -- Buckham Gallery, Flint MI
3/21/15 -- Hamilton St. Pub, Saginaw MI
6/19/15 -- D-Railed, Durand, MI

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