I’ll be honest, I was a bit disappointed when I first popped this DVD into the player. I glanced at the back and saw the Jealous Sound, Rainer Maria, and the Dismemberment Plan among others, and was excited to see some live performance video. This is not what I got, however, instead it became apparent that each of the 20 bands on the DVD contributed a music video, not a live performance.
This ended up being not so bad at all, as a lot of the videos on here are not only pretty creative, but are, for some of the respective bands, their better songs. I’m not going to be able to get to every video, so I’ll just highlight some of the more noteable finds.
The Weakerthans' cinematic offering for “Watermark” is a really enjoyable video to sit back and take in. It’s already well known how great the song is just on its own, but the video really brings some cool images to fruition. The screen is set up into 30 squares, and at any given time, a lot of those squares has different footage on them, be it of the band, a passing train, or a collage of facial features. Not all of the squares are always used, and they’re always playing the footage in an interlocking manner that really makes it an interesting watch from start to finish. The Jealous Sound’s video for “The Fold Out” is a simple one my most standards, as a lot of it is merely the band playing in a dimly lit living room, but Blair Sehan has one of the most engaging voices in music today, and you simply can’t help but keep your eyes glued to the screen watching the band play while the lamps are flickering. In a rather surprising turn of events, the video for the Beautiful Mistake’s “On Building” has a pretty decent impact, as the video makes light of a domestic violence situation which ends in death, and those scenes intercut with the band performing is a powerful combination.
It’s not all good, though; even some bands with great songs on the compilation have horrible videos. Copeland’s “Walking Away” features the band playing on a “roof,” in front of the New York City “skyline,” and while cheesy, it could be pulled off if there weren’t roughly 85 gratuitous close-ups of the lead singer's face. And I mean real close up, you could count nose hairs if you pause in the right place. Onelinedrawing's “Smile” is essentially a lot of random footage, shot in a large city with a camcorder, intercut with a little bit of live performance. I’m not quite sure what my vision of a video for this song was, but this sure isn’t it.
There’s an extremely solid number of videos, and a wide variety of bands as well. Ranging from the Bled to the Weakerthans and Moneen to Glasseater, everybody’s sure to find a video or two they like on here; it’s sifting through some of the less inspired works that can grow tiresome.