There’s definitely nothing wrong with a band setting up their gear to play on a well-lit soundstage or throwing together a sweet tour montage for a music video. However, it’s difficult to not get nostalgic about the Golden Age of MTV’s TRL—when music videos had real budgets, intricate storylines and featured full-band acting participation (for better or worse). Head below for some of the scene’s current artists who are keeping alive that same enthusiasm for a plot-based music video.
Pierce The Veil – “Circles”
Pierce The Veil’s latest music video drops the band at a spooky hotel full of grotesque décor and a creepy front desk employee.
Twenty One Pilots – “Heathens”
The duo’s latest release comes from the soundtrack to Warner Brothers’ upcoming anti-hero movie Suicide Squad. Featuring exclusive footage from the film, here frontman Tyler Joseph plays a prisoner desperate to perform.
The Menzingers – “I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore”
The Menzingers feature everyone’s favorite Camp Crystal Lake menace, Jason Voorhees, as the protagonist in this journey to not be an asshole anymore. Viewers watch as Jason tries to turn his life around with daily positive messages to help improve his dating life (hello, Say Anything… boombox reference) and profession, the latter of which has him humorously using his formerly blood-covered machete to slice lettuce.
The Story So Far – “Heavy Gloom”
The Story So Far really offer up some major music video nostalgia by flashing the track’s name, artist, album, label and directors across the bottom for the first and last few seconds of footage. The nostalgia is furthered with the style of shooting as the band skates around and gets into trouble, capturing it all in grainy video quality.
Against The Current – “Running With The Wild Things”
The clip opens with vocalist Chrissy Costanza declaring, “We have to get back what’s rightfully ours” as guitarist Dan Gow and drummer Will Ferri set out on a manhunt for whatever that may be. The trio get busted, leaving them to perform from the back of a patrol car and in a jail cell.
Panic! At The Disco – “Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time”
Shot from the perspective of a lady turned tentacle-wielding monster, this video follows her as she gets ready for a night out that quickly turns into a downward spiral after picking up frontman Brendon Urie at a bar. What follows simply cannot be unseen.
All Time Low – “Something’s Gotta Give”
You’d think that nothing really beats seeing frontman Alex Gaskarth running down the street in a French fry mascot costume. But that’s before the zombie twist…
Set It Off – “Uncontainable”
The first taste from the band’s forthcoming album, Upside Down, introduced Set It Off’s new sound with a literal bang. The video follows vocalist Cody Carson prepping for a big fight by hitting punching bags and pulling cars with his chest with the help of his bandmates before the big night.
State Champs – “If I’m Lucky”
State Champs’ acoustic ballad meshes perfectly with this video’s love story concept. It features shots of frontman Derek DiScanio strumming a guitar from the bed of a truck, peppered between vintage-looking footage of teen love shenanigans.
Issues – “The Realest”
Vocalists Tyler Carter and Michael Bohn compete for the affection of a girl and a motocross title. The result is this entertaining video full of hijinks and hilarious costumes.
The Maine – “English Girls”
The video features the band enjoying themselves in a bar with frontman John O’Callaghan experiencing an endless Groundhog Day-esque time loop in his efforts to cross the room to a girl playing darts.
The Wonder Years – “Cardinals”
All in one continuous, slow-motion shot, this video shows vocalist Dan “Soupy” Campbell sprinting through a neighborhood, carrying a drenched friend who may be sick, wounded or dead.