Self-assured, conventional, and damned if it’s not pretty effective, Kings of Leon’s “Temple” neatly sums up the strengths of the band’s 2013 album Mechanical Bull. So while the Tennessee rockers’ “Beautiful War” video roped in Tron: Legacy actor Garrett Hedlund for a prison rodeo tale, it’s only fitting that this one would receive a less dramatic visual treatment.
In fact, much of the Paul Greenhouse-directed video is just a no-nonsense “Temple” performance, which they’ve already given on both Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Saturday Night Live. But the song has a “by Mennen” catchiness that the unshowy presentation only boosts. And the lyric about how Caleb Followill would “take one to the temple” is more than a reference to KoL embedding themselves in some cranial pleasure zone. Largely washed with a vintage effect, the video also shows small children and scenes from Nashville — skylines and train crossings. Together, they evoke both the reason the Followill clan do this (“I’d take one in the temple / I’d take one for you-ooh-ooh-ooh”) and the old-fashioned pride in craft with which they do it.
At one point, a kid pops a grownup in the head. So someone literally takes it to the temple, too. The short is bookended by shots of the band members toying around with a camera, a youngun’s voice in the background. Take one for you-ooh-ooh-ooh….