15 Bizarre Rock Videos
Out of all the major musical genres, it could be argued that rock music has most often taken trips into dark landscapes and flirted with bizarre imagery. Although far from having a monopoly on bizarre music videos, rock music most frequently satiates our hunger for weird things. Whether it be light acoustic rock like Hugo, or something heavier and complex like Meshuggah, or even something with a decidedly prominent electronic aspect, or even throws rap into the mix a la Clint Eastwood, rock music brings us our favorite videos to get scared by, to trip to, or just to sit back and enjoy the oddities brought forth. So whatever your reason, please enjoy ten bizarre rock videos, in no particular order.
This is already a little bizarre, if only because of the song. Country/alternative rock artist Hugo kicks off the list with a cover of Jay-Z’s “99 Problems”, then decides to make things weirder by adding a dude in a pig mask, an iguana and some needles to the mix.
Artist: Psyclon Nine
Psyclon Nine was an aggrotech/industrial metal band from the San Francisco Bay Area. You would really just have to watch the video, but not if you have epilepsy. Also, for the people who are into this kind of thing, I will warn you beforehand… The vocalist is a guy.
Tool could have easily been featured on every bizarre music video list on Listverse, but for variety’s sake they had to take an absence from the most recent entries. Call me late to the game, but I only recently discovered the second single from their first album, Undertow, and it quickly became a favorite of mine. Upon seeing the video, I knew that it couldn’t be omitted from the next list. Fun trivia: It is one of only two Tool videos to show the band members (the other is ‘Hush’), although they are only fleeting glimpses towards the beginning and end.
The first (and most popular) video from Beck features a traveling coffin, the grim reaper, and lyrics that make no sense at all. Soy un perdedor, but aren’t we all?
The Swedes bring the weird in style. Meshuggah lays the riffs heavy, the vocals loud, and the disturbing imagery thick in this complex outing.
WARNING: this clip contains sexual content. Watch the above clip at your own risk. It is censored, but those at work might get a stern talking to from their bosses. Combining German and English lyrics into a humorous song, Rammstein stays exceedingly true to the theme of the song by filming a video that includes explicit porn. An uncensored version can almost certainly be found on sites of… questionable content. For now though, you will have to stick with the censored video. And for the record, the band members had their heads digitally added to the male performers in the video.
Artist: A Perfect Circle
It is hard to tell what Maynard James Keenan was thinking when he endorsed this video, but it ended up being quite entertaining. Look for his cameo in the convenience store. Remember boys and girls, crime does not pay.
Artist: Pearl Jam
WARNING: this clip contains violent content. One of the Big Four of Grunge, Pearl Jam and animator Todd McFarlane make several excellent statements in this violent video, highlighting mankind’s wars and misdeeds throughout history, beginning with cavemen and going through history to the CEO’s of the big corporations, and showing little actual change. It might just make you think.
Artist: The Offspring
This video brings reminiscences of King Arthur’s legends, and reminds me a little bit of The Devil Went Down to Georgia, but maybe those references are coincidence. It depicts a story of a poverty-stricken young man who is awarded a golden guitar, but then uses it to fulfill his greedy desires.
Artist: Cage the Elephant
Thousands of people were exposed to this hit song through a combination heavy radio play, television show promotions, and the 2009 video game Borderlands. Who knows what is making that guy walk funny… But I want some.
Artist: The Heavy
The Heavy mixes some funk into this incredibly catchy tune. This song first began picking up popularity when it was (like the previous song) used frequently in television promos, and again when David Letterman, in an apparent first, loved the song so much he asked the band to play an encore when they played on the Late Show. Any former (or, hell, current) hippies will probably reminisce about their very similar personal experiences when they too followed a Red-Riding-Hood-type figure into the woods.
One part of a trilogy of videos that can be watched in a rotation (start with any video, just know that Heard It All Before leads into Scream With Me, which leads into Strange and Beautiful, which leads back into HIAB) from Mudvayne’s latest self-titled album. If you decide to complete the trilogy, Strange and Beautiful is NSFW.
Artist: Alice In Chains
Another band from the Big Four of Grunge, Alice In Chains brings us this dark and eerie video with plenty of exotic animals. I’m jealous of Layne Staley for getting to play with that bush baby.
The animated band Gorillaz started off their long-winded career with the rap-rock melody. The featured rapper, Del the Funky Homosapien, gets his own featured animated persona (the giant blue… ghost?) in this video rife with zombie references (see: opening text, the vocalist’s shirt, the not-so-subtle undead monkeys).
Artist: System of a Down
Who knows what is up with this little kid’s face, but regardless, the women love him. He is clearly a celebrity of sorts, although why he is famous is never stated. But it is made clear that, despite all his supposed friends, he is actually pretty alone.