Friday, July 06, 2007

American Hardcore (2006)

Lively punk-rock documentary that covers the first wave of hardcore punk (roughly 1980 to 1985). Director Paul Rachman tries to be as concise and informative as one can be within 90 minutes, and for the most part he succeeds -- while one wonders where the stranger offshoots of hardcore are (surely, for instance, the Butthole Surfers deserve a mention?), Rachman does a fine job of touching on a good majority of the major bands from the era. The real draw here is the reams of ferocious live footage; the talking heads fill in the history, but it's in the performances that one understands the energy, the release, the sheer manic appeal of what at first blush can be an off-putting genre of music. Ian Mackaye sums up both the thrust and the appeal of the film quite nicely when he says, "We were kids goin' wild, and I thought the music perfectly represented that." Also: Former Pantera/current Superjoint Ritual lead singer Phil Anselmo is so far gone that it's frightening.

Grade: B+


Blogger Scott W. Black said...

Phil was far gone 30 years ago.
Side note: I saw him back in the eighties when he was in Razor White, a New Orleans heavy metal cover band. Now those were good times... ;-)

12:02 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

He's an NO boy? And after all that Texan pride exuded by Pantera...

No, seriously, though -- I don't just mean he's spacey or mentally blown. I mean even physically. Have you heard him speak lately? He's got no voice left, just a wheezy rasp.

10:43 AM  

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