Among of the most overdone music video tropes is the one in which a band is filmed rocking out in a dingy practice space. The singer lip-syncs along to the pre-recorded song with fabricated intensity as the guitarists and bassist shred menacingly in front of half stacks (that aren’t actually plugged in) and the drummer ferociously crashes the cymbals…in a way that still allows his bandmates to hear the original recording so they can keep the sham going. The latest Direct Hit! music video follows this tired cliché to a T—at least for a while.
The Milwaukee pop-punk princes and latest addition to the Fat Wreck Chords family are known for their inventive music video concepts, having combined videos for every song on their 2013 full-length Brainless God into a campy, blood-soaked film. Direct Hit!’s latest music video takes a much less ambitious, but equally creative approach. “Chemical Ability” begins as many-a-video has, with singer-guitarist Nick Woods mouthing along to the words. The camera pans to show the rest of the band playing along with almost too much intensity before they all say “Fuck it” and topple the fourth wall. As the song plays on, instruments are set down or traded, licorice is eaten, beers are chugged, shirts are removed, and a great one-shot music video is born.