At what may be the most lax prison ever, a cigar-chomping cowboy of a warden has organized a rodeo for his inmates in Kings of Leon's video for "Beautiful War," a cut off their latest album, Mechanical Bull. It's just one part of an epic, nearly seven-minute story that chronicles two men and a woman who go out for a drink at a country bar and the repercussions of jealousy. There are scenes of dancing, fighting brothers, a long walk of shame for an inmate dressed in a black-and-white cowboy outfit and, quite literally, a mechanical bull. It all adds up to a story that's both improbable and touching, and at the end of the clip, the clichéd warden character, who acts as an overseer à la Caesar, claps in approval.
Mechanical Bull comes following a well-documented internal meltdown for Kings of Leon. But as evidenced on the album, the band members and brothers were able to settle their differences. "It was how we sounded when we started playing as a band, excited to plug in," drummer Nathan Followill told Rolling Stone. Since the record's release, the group has played Bull tracks like "Temple" on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and, on BBC1, "Beautiful War" and a cover of Robyn's "Dancing on My Own." In October, they played a gig at Chicago's House of Blues that frontman Caleb Followill called "one of my favorite shows in a long time." They will begin a full Mechanical Bull tour of the U.S. in February.