By Mike Delano
Unless you were there, chances are the pillars of the Orange County hardcore scene of the ’90’s — Insted, No For An Answer – don’t ring a bell like their East Coast counterparts – Cro-Mags, Gorilla Biscuits – do. Lucky for you, filmmaker Evan Jacobs was there, and he brought his video camera. Orange County Hardcore Scenester is upfront about the scope of its mission: It covers the years ’90-’97 and is one person’s perspective. That means the film is essentially Jacobs narrating the footage he shot at shows, interspersed with personal reflections. There are no interviews, no talking heads, and no attempt to present a definitive or balanced view of the scene at the time. Depending on your documentary style preferences, this approach could be a blessing or a curse, but regardless, this passion project does gather tons of footage of photos that capture the energy and intensity from the time. Since it lacks the structure and pacing of more traditional documentaries, the “then this happened, then this happened” momentum gets fatiguing, but there’s no doubting the love the film shows for the scene, and as with any musical movement worth documenting, the great music and performances within are the real attraction.