Everyone knows growing up is a hard and painful process. Lame parents, homework, social network pressures and acne woes make for tough times in this day and age. But never fear, youth of today: Musicians still get your pain and anger. These recent five videos explore youth revenge fantasies in a few different ways, but mostly the idea that revenge is a dish best served from someone under 15.
1. The Limousines, “Internet Killed The Video Star”
“The kids are disco dancing, they’re tired of rock ‘n’ roll. Don’t bother telling them that drum machine ain’t got no soul,” sings the Limousines’ frontman Eric Victorino in the band’s zombie-laden condemnation of the Internet and kids today. Victorino and bandmate Giovanni Giusti are avid (if not sometimes self-loathing) social media users, and, well, that would be a drum machine in the back of their van. “The song is talking about how in culture, stuff just keeps going in a circle,” says Victorino in the band’s bio. In this case, the kids destroy the zombie-walking remnants of rock ‘n’ roll with disco, entering a blighted world (in which their parents are no more) as the cultural progenitors. Yup, it’s all aces — until the cultural cycle “digs itself back up again.”
2. Skrillex, “First of the Year”
This past summer, Skrillex’s video for “First of the Year” featured a pint-sized super hero reminiscent of Ellen Page in Hard Candy turning the tables on what appears to be a creepy child molester. Scary monster or nice sprite? It’s hard to tell which one the girl is supposed to be, but she’s definitely no simpering Lolita.
3. Young Dreams, “Young Dreams”
If Home Alone taught us anything, it’s that every kid’s dream to have the run of the house: Wearing whatever one wants, leaving toys everywhere, donning a Bart Simpson mask, grabbing a baseball bat, and keeping watch for intruders. Wait, what? That’s basically the story that Norwegian band Young Dreams tells in the video for their poppy, airy — yet somewhat sinister — eponymous single. These tow-headed children, who appear to have lost their parents somehow, seem to be faring well at the beginning of the video, but by the end, well, it appears that whatever rendered them orphans may be coming back. [Watch here.]
4. Man Man, “Piranhas Club”
“Piranhas Club” is undoubtedly the jam that gets the 18-and-unders moshing the most at any given Man Man show, with such lines as, “If you want to punch your dad in the face/I say think about it/Do it.” It’s a tune for underdogs, the down-trodden, and the recently dumped, so it’s no wonder that the video features a ton of kids forming a cry baby-inspired gang to get revenge on their bully tormentors. Yet who’s rendered the cry baby in the end?
5. Mister Heavenly, “Bronx Sniper”
Mister Heavenly features Man Man’s lead singer Ryan Kattner, so it’s probably no coincidence that the video for the band’s epic story song, “Bronx Sniper,” is thematically similar to “Piranhas Club.” Although, in this case, you’ve got Nick Diamonds (Islands, Unicorns) added into the musical mix, so the results are even weirder than the Man Man-made production. Let’s just say it involves a kid’s overbearing parents being mean, which is the impetus for a gang member action figure coming to life and wreaking havoc on the entire family.