Music is not all about the song, oh no. We are the YouTube generation, raised on Vimeo – if a song is to be a success, it needs an accompanying video. And now we have unearthed, for your viewing pleasure, some of the weirdest, gut-wrenching music videos. These will leave you unable to look at chihuahuas, Charlotte Gainsbourg or ravers in the same way again. These 10 videos will leave you shaken, stirred and most likely disturbed.
Johnny Cash – Hurt
If Johnny Cash’s cover of Trent Reznor’s Hurt isn’t already etched into your mind, it will be soon. There will be tears, you can’t fight them. Hurt is a terrifyingly distressing rollercoaster ride, where our influential, all American hell raiser is a fragile, exposed 71-year-old man in black, surrounded by dusty memorabilia and decomposing flora and fruit. This is a man who knows death is going to be coming on by real soon. Hurt takes my spine, scrunches it up and puts it back all tight and knotted, leaving me whispering to myself: “I really, really, really don’t want to get old and die.”
Rammstein – Mein Teil
The German industrial mentalists have racked up some gloriously sick and disturbing material in their time, and Mein Teil is, in my opinion, one of their finest efforts. It’s inspired by that German cannibal story. You know the one. No? Well then, let me enlighten you.
Back in 2001 Armin Meiwes put an ad online asking for: “A well-built 18 to 30-year-old to be slaughtered and consumed.” Bernd Jurgen Armando Brandes replied, saying that before he was to be slaughtered, he wanted to eat his own penis. They both gave it a good go raw, but due to the ‘chewy’ texture they fried it with wine, garlic and salt. Brandes was then murdered and Meiwes dined on the rest of the body for months, until the police finally dropped by. Mein Teil is a filthy orgy, complete with cross-dressing, angels giving head and fist fighting doppelgängers. If that wasn’t enough to satisfy, there’s full-grown men on leads too.
Behemoth – Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel
This cinematic work of dark, twisted genius will leave you feeling somewhat unhinged. It’s a transformative, hugely atmospheric piece. An angelic young woman participates in a Satanic ritual after bumping into three demonic priests in a field (as you do). After the ritual she vomits blood, has her body punctured by gigantic thorns, loses her hair and proceeds to transform into something inhuman, but something undoubtedly more powerful than she was before. The video can be said to be inspired by main man Adam Darski’s battle with leukaemia, and is damn strong stuff. Not for the weak hearted.
Marilyn Manson – Cryptorchid
Marilyn Manson incorporated scenes from experimental horror film Begotten into a surreal, fucked up world where he tugs out his own intestines. Begotten basically re-imagines genesis in the most gut-churning way possible. Interesting fact – it’s currently banned in Singapore. The video for Cryptorchid is a ruthlessly sick, uncompromising couple of minutes, which will sink quickly into your consciousness like famished maggots.
DyE – Fantasy
So… This is weird, and slightly awkward to watch with male friends. Seeing men get aroused by anime girls is not cool. Anyway. Four kids sneak into a pool to get up to, you know, sex and stuff. But while one girl is busy having her throat cleaned and polished, the other girl is crippled with anxiety, and doesn’t know how to handle the situation she’s in. Then things start to get a bit fucking creepy. Though if you’re an anime nut, you won’t be all that surprised by the gruesome twist.
MIA – Born Free
Born Free consists of nine minutes and six seconds of harrowing footage of ginger haired males being rounded up and exterminated. It’s brutal, controversial and was banned from YouTube in the US and the UK, which isn’t surprising really. Young kids being shot point blank in the head because of the colour of their hair and people being told to run for their lives so they step on landmines isn’t what you’d find in your everyday music video.
Pearl Jam – Do The Evolution
Now this is how you make a music video. Watching it made me feel like my life had been rewound back to the 80s and my Saturday morning cartoons had taken a slightly more sadistic turn. Do The Evolution kicks off with the very beginning of life, from the smallest cell. Then it jumps back and forth through history, blasting us with scenes of man’s unchanging, barbaric nature, as well as social and environmental matters, including whaling, slaving and uncontrolled urbanisation. This animated video was not created to make you chuckle.
Serge Gainsbourg – Lemon Incest
Within the first 30 seconds of viewing this video I felt nauseous. The sight of Charlotte Gainsbourgh dressed in knickers and an oversized pyjama top, and her Papa Serge wearing just jeans made me feel horribly uncomfortable. Charlotte’s breathless lament, though inescapably beautiful, made me cringe. I ended up having to watch it in slots. Honestly, I felt as though my skin was going to crawl off and leave the room.
Salem – Piggyhog
Maybe just close your eyes for this one and enjoy the tune. I wish I had done. I knew dark things were on the rise when I first caught sight of fingers tenderly caressing a pig’s teats. I found myself whispering ‘no, please don’t do anything else- just leave it at caressing’, as the young gentleman removed his clothes and went behind his snuffling friend. What follows this isn’t pretty. It’s fucking harrowing stuff, actually, involving dead piglets, self-burial and nooses. The music is pretty cool though.
Aphex Twin – Rubber Johnny
Plan on getting some shut-eye tonight, or in the next three months? Don’t watch this. You’re going to anyway aren’t you? I might as well talk about it a bit then. This six minute experimental film – which, for the record, took three and a half years of weekends to do – features Johnny, a deformed wheelchair bound boy, who is kept in a basement with his chihuahua. Despite his deformities, Johnny can contort his body into all sorts of positions, making him a mean raver. The video is filmed entirely in infrared which makes it all the more fantastically freaky.