This article originally appeared on Noisey Germany.
It's really not that difficult or creatively taxing to make a good hardcore music video with old school flair. You only need the following shots: a crowd full of moshing fans at a concert, footage of the band performing in some warehouse, and the entirety of their crew walking down a city street. Anything less than that is mediocre. Can't everyone just make a second version of "Step Down" by Sick Of It All?
Even then, there are bands that would rather deviate from this simple formula and fail spectacularly. How, you ask? By introducing a few new variables and taking an unsafe gamble on men and women from hard, hard, hardcore bands. So, if you're looking to make a hardcore music video, here's five examples of what not to do:
Föur Skillz - "Don't Give Up"
Even though Föur Skills never released more than a 5-track demo, they made themselves legendary through their only single, "Don't Give Up." I mean, look at the latest video from The Shitlers, in which the band members watch Föur Skillz's music video! This rare pearl of German hardcore history still flickers across the occasional computer screen six years after its original publication. Straight-edge positive hardcore with offensively dull messages is always timely, especially when it comes in the scandalous form of a staged music video. Here's the story: a guy wants to take his own life, so Föur Skillz and their crew come along to squeal the lyrics "See times with different eyes/See it positively!" in the final scene. We have goosebumps.
XRepresentX - "The Downfall"
The biggest problem with this music video is that it has a video at all. There's a guy in a bar, he has a few drinks, when suddenly his parents—aka the Pennsylvania hardcore band XRepresentX, the straightest of straight edge—drag him out into a dark alleyway and read him the Levites. For what feels like ages, they berate him, shouting about how disappointed they are that he's fallen away from his faith. Fortunately, we assume they cut away before the defiant villain and the screaming preacher fall from their high horses and laugh it out. We get it, but in the end even the most militant straight edge videos were rarely staged this stupidly.
Crooks to Kings
Okay, so Crooks to Kings from Tacoma, Washington obviously didn't have a big budget for their music video. Amateur charm can go a long way—especially since everything booming out of the speakers actually sounds fine. It's just that everything that happens on the screen is physically painful. It all starts out vaguely promising in black and white, but then we lose all faith in toughness when a guy stands inside an old garbage bin and screams, "Start the violence, fuck the facts!". Interestingly enough, the guy wearing the black and white flannel on the lower right seems to enjoy the absurdity of it all just as much as we do. He can't help but to laugh at the deadpan faces of his friends, posing around the guy in the garbage can. Maybe he knew what was coming next: a clumsy performance in the garden.
Cunthunt777 - "Valve"
Cunthunt777 from Augsburg, Germany have long been considered a curious representation of the German beatdown scene, thanks to hits like "Auf gehts, ab gehts" ("Here We Go, Get Off") or "Fotzenjagd im Panzer," ("Pussy Hunting in a Tank"), and their 2010 music video, "Valve." Here, the guys perform their song, semi-motivated by four minutes of warehouse moshing. A special highlight, for obvious reasons, is this scene:
Sand - "Poser"
To be fair, this video by the Japanese band Sand is elaborately produced and features some really good shots. The crew walks in slow motion, squatting, tattooing, and mocking people, and the band looks snug in their baseball jerseys. The only problem is that the song never comes out of its own ass. The singer stammers a few grotesque, stereotypically hardcore words into the microphone; the guitarist suddenly shrieks in such a way that any black metal musician will go red-faced with shame under his corpse paint, and we're worried that he'll crumble into pieces all over his beautiful guitar. All in all, it's exactly the type of music video only certain kind of person would fabricate: a poser.
Translated by Meredith Balkus.
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