10‘I Fink U Freeky’ by Die Antwoord
Mangled limbs, crotch-nibbling rats, disjointed body-popping from scantily clad rap-ravers – this perverse monochrome vid from the freeky South African duo makes a beeline for your nightmares as quickly as the chorus infects your ear canals. Rave on if you dare.
9‘Lemon Incest’ by Serge Gainsbourg
‘Lemon Incest’ might be the least gruesome video here, but Gitane-smoking controversy-magnet Gainsbourg always took a uniquely insidious approach to the art of repulsion. This duet with his 12-year-old daughter, Charlotte, breaks taboos with the depraved confidence of a professional; Serge’s crooned pleas to his “délicieuse enfant” tip things from awkward into flat-out creepy.
8‘Come to Daddy’ by Aphex Twin
Throw a dart at Aphex Twin’s reliably gruesome videography (often directed by horrorific mastermind Chris Cunningham) and it’s bound to pierce something fleshy and grotesque. On ‘Come to Daddy’, the relatively charming image of a dog pissing in a council estate gets hairy fast, as Aphex Sextuplets in schoolgirl outfits terrorise the neighbourhood, before their alien master emerges foetal and gooey from a TV set.
7‘New Coke’ by HEALTH
HEALTH have been revelling in grotesquery and body horror for years, but latest track ‘New Coke’ is particularly shameless. In the video, we watch basement-clubbers lose their shit before projectile-vomiting into sinks stained with sick residue and graffiti; the camera seems to enjoy the view, rendering each orange chunk in glorious slo-mo. “You will love each other”, reads the sweet closing message, but you can’t help feeling it’s too little too late.
6‘EARL’ by Earl Sweatshirt
One of the earliest missives from the Odd Future frontline, this AG Rojas-directed vid sees a sizzurp-fuelled OF piss-up turn ugly: nipples bleed, teeth come loose and, in one shot that can’t be unseen, Earl slowly pulls out a fingernail over the bathroom sink.
5‘Dear God, I Hate Myself’ by Xiu Xiu
Special effects have made it easier than ever to gross out innocent web-surfers, but special mention to Xiu Xiu, who backed up ‘Dear God, I Hate Myself’ by having bandmember Angela Seo throw up repeatedly, for real, before directing a final blast at singer Jamie Stewart.
4‘Sheena is a Parasite’ by The Horrors
After seven years off the boil, cult director Chris Cunningham returned to music videos for this eerie introduction to the Horrors. Squid flailing from a ghostly woman’s body parts might strike you as vile enough, but most unnerving is her tragically horrified expression, which captures all the end-of-days torment you’d expect from someone who’s found tentacles under her dress.
3‘Obscure’ by Dir En Grey
Crawling insects, disembodied women, suspended corpses, loose eyeballs and spewing, orclike bandmembers make this too drastic a twist on extreme-metal orthodoxy to write off as cliché. Marilyn Manson looks like Rick Edwards by comparison.
2‘Closer’ by Nine Inch Nails
Years before Matt Bellamy triangulated sci-fi, lust and politics into Muse’s bizarro-rock spectacle, Trent Reznor was on a similarly theatrical tip, wheezing blunt sexual demands and crucifying monkeys in brilliantly squirmy, atrocity-exhibition videos like this.
1‘Passing Out Pieces’ by Mac DeMarco
The return of the Mac last year heralded a melancholy, fame-weary new chapter for the Edmonton songwriter, but in true goofball fashion, he gave us a cheeky wink with videos like this. After a particularly unsavoury cooking show stirs up Mac’s murderous subconscious, he brings a few pals to grisly ends before gleefully splatting a hater’s head like a melon.