Who would have thought that three guys sitting around watching the Damon Wayans military comedy Major Payne would be make for such a good music video?
San Jose’s Hard Girls take this ridiculous concept as the basis for their new video. It starts with some overt over-the-top comedic elements—the band members sitting on the couch gleefully emulating Wayans’s every move—and quickly progresses into all-out Apocalypse Now mental breakdowns.
The video, which was directed by Bob Vielma (Boboso, Shinobu), contains a level of absurdity that is almost the complete opposite of Hard Girls’ serious, nuanced music, which for some reason fits perfectly. Hard Girls have for the past couple years pushed the bounds of punk into new realms, mixing influences from Pavement, Silkworm and Swans into a raw, energetic package. Their musicianship is complex and innovative and yet contains the simple purity of sweaty, driving rock beats and guttural, honest vocals.
Bass player Morgan Herrell sings lead vocals on “Major Payne.” His voice has the cracking, hoarse quality of Blake Schwarzenbach’s early work with Jawbreaker, only with greater control and a better sense of pitch. “Major Payne” starts at a furious, upbeat tempo and is layered with interesting, experimental post-punk chords. After a minute and a half of being a relatively pop-oriented punk song, it departs into a tense, instrumental space-jam for the remaining two and a half minutes.
This video is a taste of Hard Girls, long-anticipated album, Isn’t it Worse, which is set to be released on Really Records this December.