Soilwork – Live In The Heart of Helsinki – Review

March 1, 2015

This first-ever live DVD/Blu-Ray from Soilwork, arriving right around the two-year anniversary of the band’s excellent 2013 double album The Living Infinite, is a straightforward but effective time capsule of these melodeath giants circa 2014.

The Stone Roses – Made of Stone – Review

December 7, 2013

It’s a fantastic documentary of the Roses’ reformation in 2012 after 16 years off the map. Director Shane Meadows’ incredible access to the band enables him to chronicle everything from their first reformed rehearsals (shot in reverent black and white) through their multi-night homecoming shows in front of more than 200,000 fans.

Orange County Hardcore Scenester – Review

August 31, 2012

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.

House of Flesh Mannequins – Review

March 16, 2012

House of Flesh Mannequins is a movie buried under its own imagery and symbolism. After taking photographs of the victims of a gruesome car accident, quiet artist Sebastian sits at home and considers what he’s seen as images of clowns, puppets and blow-up dolls flash on the screen.

Father’s Day – Review

February 17, 2012

The glorious poster art for the Troma-produced Canadian cheapie Father’s Day promises great things. Forearm-sized pistol barrels, bloody chainsaws about to get licked, heaving cleavage and daisy dukes.

X – The Unheard Music – Review

January 27, 2012

X is pretty much the coolest band ever. From the twisted poetry of Exene and John Doe to the steely-eyed perpetual smile of Billy Zoom to a drummer named D.J. Bonebrake, I don’t think there’s any foursome out there that can compete with them.

Shot By Kern – Volume 1 – The First Season – Review

December 11, 2011

The DVD is a fascinating look into a photographer’s process. Kern clearly has an overabundance of photo ideas bursting from his brain, and he puts the girls in all sorts of unique poses that create snapshots that are at times sexy, bizarre, creepy, beautiful or just intriguingly weird.

Thankskilling – DVD

November 11, 2011

As you might imagine from the film that spawned the quotables “Gobble, Gobble, motherfucker” and “Nice tits, bitch,” Thankskilling is a low budget movie that’s really more of an attempt at comedy than it is a horror film, even if it fancies itself as a combination of the two.

Pagan Metal – A Documentary – Review

October 10, 2010

An endless stream of backstage/on-the-bus interview snippets intercut with handheld-in-the-front-row live footage. As a snapshot of a sampling of bands in the genre, it works fine. The bands interviewed (Turisas, Korpiklaani, TYR, Finntroll, Leaves Eyes, and others) are universally nice, even as Bill Zebub drags the questioning into his predictable banality.

Black Label Society – Skullage – Review

May 1, 2010

Heavy on the big guitar riffs you’re used to from his work with Ozzy, but with better songs, from “All For You” and “13 Years of Grief” to the seriously soulful “Dead As Yesterday” and his signature tune “Stillborn,” which is featured four separate times. Outside of these picks, the songs are sometimes bland, with Wylde often relying too much on his distorted vocal tricks, but the disc is a fine primer for the curious,

Metal Retardation – Review

April 1, 2010

Metal Retardation reiterates what metalheads knew long before the rest of the world caught on after the first season of The Osbournes: That metal musicians are usually pretty cool guys and girls. Being interviewed by ‘zine guy/”filmmaker” Bill Zebub, though, is enough to melt anyone’s patience, so this DVD full of goofy video interview outtakes is really a testament to the saint-like tolerance of metal legends like Peter Steele, George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher, and the king of cordiality, King Diamond.

Goth Kill – Review

April 1, 2010

First-time writer/director J.J. Connelly does exhibit some artistic use of the camera, but he seems more interested in indulging the goofy tendencies of performance artist Flambeaux and Fuse’s Mistress Juliya’s bit part as a “Demonatrix.” The 70-minute story follows an Inquisition priest who makes a deal with the Devil while dying and is reborn in modern day Manhattan to terrorize the Goth scene.

Iggy Pop – Lust For Life – Review

September 1, 2009

This documentary carries a buncha footage from 20 years ago with Ig, some choice Stoogeliness, and interview footage with guitar player Ron Ashton. It’s great. The offhand feel and frankness of it is wonderful to hear, esp. from Mr. Ashton. If you did drugs, talk about it (lids of Marijuana!), good and bad.

The Yardbirds – The Story of The Yardbirds – Review

January 1, 2009

The Yardbirds were one of the bands that created what was to become “hard rock.” They amped-up blues, cut it with psychedelic pop and a teenage impatience that came to define garage rock. They were great, focusing on a great singer/harmonica player and guitars played by Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and the amazing Jeff Beck.

Johnny Winter – Live Through the ’70s – Review

January 1, 2009

The video format allows for the twin pleasures of being able to see the band work in tandem as a single unit and also, in lighter moments, to admire/be horrified by some of the fashion disasters – see the leather top-hat/beard/platform shoe ensemble Johnny’s rocking in the 1973 Connecticut footage. Johnny is widely considered to be one of the finest rock guitarists of his time, and the opportunity to not only hear him live but actually be able to see him play, as well as the ample glances at the gear itself that the disc allows, makes this disc an ideal gift for the guitar nerd in your life.

The Little Rascals – The Complete Collection – Review

November 1, 2008

The compilation boasts all 80 shorts, uncut and restored to perfection, and hosts talented child actors who portray the unforgettable characters, Spanky, Alfalfa, Froggy, Weezer, Pete the Pup, Miss Crab Tree and more. No filmmaker has come close to Roach’s unique approach of portraying kids being kids through the magical performances of Our Gang during a forgotten era called the “golden age.”

Lydia Lunch – Video Hysterie: 1978-2006 – Review

October 1, 2008

The music has a menacing cool urban ’50s heroin vibe jimmied through a less-polite take on the ’90s Tom Waits/Cop Shoot Cop wheezy industrial/song writerishness whittling down decades of sounds and centuries of art and truth. She speaks a common language; just a little rougher and less patronizing than most of us are used to.

Iggy & the Stooges – Escaped Maniacs – Review

October 1, 2008

Sex Pistols, Dead Boys, and The Damned covered’m early on: Their groove landed in The Avengers lap, the Flesheaters hands, then, with their true heirs, Black Flag. Herein, the roaring tension/release was to start rocking the nation whole-hog.

Hanoi Rocks – The Nottingham Tapes – Review

July 1, 2008

Straight-up live show from one of the bands linking The New York Dolls and the hair metal thing. Not up to Gun N’ Roses’ attack level, which approaches the classic Aerosmith rocker metal, more roots rock and roll, but hell, singer Michael Monroe plays saxophone and does so live. Included are decent, catchy songs bereft of the studio gloss and flat recording that always irked me about these guys’ discs. I remember a live one that seems to follow this track listing pretty closely.

D.I. – The Suburbia Sessions – Review

July 1, 2008

This is a practice space run through shot live and unedited by the Flipside crew. Because of its particular fame (Slayer rocked it out on their Undisputed Attitude covers deal), and quality, you may already be familiar with “Richard Hung Himself.”

Dead Boys – Return of The Living Dead Boys: Halloween Night 1986 – Review

April 1, 2008

On Halloween night, 1986, the Midwest’s hammering punk legends Dead Boys showed up to collect their beer money. It’d been seven years since the band threw in the towel: The record industry couldn’t sell punk as rock so moved into “new wave” and “power pop.” This was a terrible moment in our country’s history .

Punk’s Not Dead – Review

March 1, 2008

Some interesting and important bands are touched on; but really, it belongs to the pedestrian (Oi!) Brit punk stuff that fell out of the the ’77 Clash/Pistols duel and the arena punk Epitaph/Fat records was to hoist onto the world starting a dozen years later via the advertising/fashion/skate culture of the southern half of Cali-for-ni-ay.

Tad – Busted Circuits and Ringing Ears – Review

February 1, 2008

Tad was a band. It started as a guy, Tad, who made his first single by himself, and then got together a unit that was the most “grunge” of the grunge bands. Pure, uncut, hard rock riff action without Soundgarden’s and Alice In Chains’ links to metal, Mudhoney’s salt blast garage howl, or Pearl Jam’n’Nirvana’s reanimation of classic rock balladry.

Linda Linda Linda – Review

February 1, 2008

Four Japanese girls in a band together are set to perform at their big high school’s festival when one of the girls gets injured and can no longer play guitar and controversy ensues. Most of the decisions happen slowly and painstakingly, with lots of passive aggression going on in the process, as is usually the case when dealing with band politics, and especially high school band politics.

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