Take the Reins

Courtesy of Alex Zarek

Premiere: New Take the Reins video ‘Camo Jacket’ not what you think it is

With this week’s release of “Camo Jacket,” punk band Take the Reins (and special guests) puts a fun, fresh spin on the performance video concept

West suburban punk band Take the Reins puts a different spin on the typical performance video with today’s premiere of “Camo Jacket,” the band’s newest single also out for streaming today. 

With its “Grindhouse”-esque opening credits indicating a twist within, the single-shot video by Roger Chavez takes the song’s chorus to heart: “I’m sorry if I’m not who you thought I was, who you hoped I was.”

In doing so, the scene, the setting of which was loosely inspired by Against Me’s “Crash” video, has a few surprises in store. 15, to be exact. Along with the band — Matt Benson, Courtney Boyers, David Burke, Dan Duffy and Erik Hilger — expect special guest appearances from a number of musicians and supporters from the Chicago scene. 

“It’s a collaboration between people who care about us and who we care about,” Benson, the band’s drummer, said. “It’s about growing the scene, growing the community. It’s a family.” 

His heartwarming take on the video masks the darkness behind the music, though. 

“It’s a light-hearted video, but …” Benson said. 

“It’s not a happy song, but it’s a happy video,” Boyers finished with a laugh. 

“Camo Jacket,” which features Take the Reins’ signature punk sound, is a vehicle for Boyers’ vocals, appealing but heavy with the weight and introspection of the song. 

“So many people around us who we thought were in rock-solid relationships were all splitting up,” Boyers said. “All these people who’ve been together forever. And you thought they were happy, but they weren’t.” 

“It’s about realizing you’re not with the person you should be,” she said. 

The band’s first single release this year, “Camo Jacket” kicks off a whole new period of productivity for the punk band. Take the Reins expects to drop new singles every two months this year, with potential for a second video. They also plan to release a new album early next year through Stupid Rad Records, the label they recently signed on with. 

This weekend’s release show at Reggie’s was canceled amid COVID-19 concerns, but the band will make an appearance at 8 p.m. tonight with James VanOsdol’s Car Con Carne video podcast (or its new incarnation #QuarantineConCarne). And the band is exploring plans to livestream a performance this weekend to make up for the lost gig; check back for updates on that.


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