Smith Westerns and Focus Creeps spend a Weekend together

The trio skip ‘The Bunny Hutch’ even the identical they consume plays with the idea of narcissistic masculinity: the hot dogs are phallic symbols and the camera lingers on a counter display of ‘Roasted Nuts and Churros’. The ‘Smith Westerns’ branding of Omori’s jacket, the tree carving (something usually reserved for sweethearts), and the shared taste in food presents the band as a self-contained romance and as, ultimately, more enduring than any sexual relationship.

Smith Westerns

The video ends in a comic and provocative manner that condenses the idea of self-love into a single image. In a darkened room a teddy-bear shaped bottle of lubricant (perhaps a mall-purchase?) is turned upside down and squeezed, and the contents ooze towards its target. The implication is that the anticipated sexual activity will finally occur. However, the camera pans down and we see that the lube is squeezed onto a microphone clutched in a fist. Substituting the microphone for a penis confirms the message: in the absence of actual sexual activity, the young men’s arousal and satisfaction comes from their identity as a band.

Smith Westerns‘Weekend’ is a great song with a typical theme of frustrated young love, and the video succeeds by having the band engage with and then subtly subvert a series of stereotypes associated with American teens. Some of these are about teenagers’ consumption of pop culture: shopping at the mall, playing arcade games, eating junk food, smoking, taking drugs and road trips. Others are about people’s expectations of teenage behaviour based on media representations: teen-killer rampages, ‘healthy’ outdoor pursuits, sexual activity.

And whilst the song is about a young man’s longing for an absent girlfriend, perhaps the most interesting aspect of Focus Creeps’ video for ‘Weekend’ is its additional layer of meaning: that for Smith Westerns the love of being in a band is the ultimate satisfaction.

Words by Amanda Penlington