One of the singles off the album, "Motel Lobby," is the backdrop for this grungy music video directed by Jordan Cooper. The video cuts back and forth between the band jamming out in a darkly lit, pink-walled room, and a zombie outbreak referred to as "The Night the World Nearly Ended" on a poster uploaded to the band's Twitter page. During the zombie outbreak scenes, Morgan Fasanelli (the Goth), Abe Azab (the Baby), Chris Desiderio (the Mom), Matt Rosano (the Hipster), and Sean Connelly (the Old Man) are accompanied by Kelly McCready as the Hero of this story.
Subtle and not so subtle references to Cash for Smiles, an album permeated with nostalgia, are scattered throughout the video for “Motel Lobby.” One by one, as each character gets attacked and turned into a zombie, the blood that oozes out of them is not red, but instead a bright pink. The shade is an exact match to the color of the album cover of Cash for Smiles. This is especially prominent in the last scene in which the Hero defeats the zombies with a baseball bat and Pepto-Bismol pink blood gets splattered across the black walls.
The video seems goofy. It is funny: seeing the lead guitarist cross-dressed as a fed up mother, watching a zombie outbreak occur, and the pink blood. Both the video and the band's music in general seem to allude to something deeper, though.
Just like the monster girl posing for a selfie on the cover of Cash for Smiles, zombies are creatures that belong under our beds, on our TVs, and in our video games. The most heartbreaking part about zombies, however, is their close resemblance to humans and the fact that they were once just like us. The video begins and ends with a shot of the Hero with a single, pink tear running down her cheek. Perhaps in these moments, she too came to the gut-wrenching realization that these zombies were people too. The zombies had families, kids, hobbies, favorite sports teams, ex-girlfriends. Reminiscing on older times -- good and bad -- is a theme not only in the music video for "Motel Lobby," but in the lyrics of the song as well. Lead singer Morgan Fasanelli ends verse two of the song with, "I've lost it all, I've lost the war / I've never seen the lights this bright before."
As the first music video released by Mandala, "Motel Lobby" could have turned out to be subpar at best. Yet time and time again, this band continues to amaze loyal fans and new listeners alike. Cash for Smiles is available on all streaming services.