POPSCREEN: Tokyo Police Club

"Cheer It On" - Dir. Sean Wainsteirn

Hobbies can be dangerous. In the new video for indie-rocking Canucks Tokyo Police Club’s “A Lesson in Crime,” a middle-aged man is forced to contend with the often horrific results of his apparently perilous pastime—building miniature train sets.

Within the song’s two minutes and 17 seconds, a miniature scale model of the band manages to wreak havoc on the otherwise quaint, tiny town the video’s live-action amateur enthusiast constructs.

At the video’s outset, director Sean Wainsteim matches the video’s imagery to the song’s lyrics. As lead singer Dave Monks sings, “Do your neighbor a favor / Collect their morning paper / And clip out all the sad bits, no one wants to read that,” the middle-aged man confusedly examines a newspaper that has parts cut out.

And then there’s a shot of kids visiting the zoo as Monks declares, “Let them take their kids to school and the zoo in peace.”

Next, the video devolves into a frenzy of successive shots showing motionless frames of plastic models in order to reveal the violence that plagues the town. The reasons for the chaos are unclear, but the band’s sinister, plastic presence seems like the driving force. The animals in the zoo are let free and run amok. Violence and nudity await at every street corner.

Not only does the middle-aged man have to watch in horror as his once-peaceful town is destroyed, but he himself is imprisoned Gulliver-style by the Lilliputian models. The town’s militia are powerless to save him, and he, like the inhabitants of the town, falls victim to the depravity of the Tokyo Police Club.