Rancid are one of those bands.
I always seem to forget the impact some of their material has had on me until it's really shoved in my face. On their last tour, I decided, very last minute, to attend and it ended up being one of the best shows I'd seen all year. Pretty much as soon as the band kicked in on the first song ("Radio") it all came rushing back to me, and reaffirmed my feelings on the band.
At times, this DVD did the same thing.
It's been a couple of years now since Rancid announced that work had begun on a comprehensive DVD of music videos and, I assumed, other DVD-type material. A documentary short perhaps? Maybe an official release of Tim's short film, "Larry Is Dead"? Unfortunately, the front cover doesn't lie: All this is is the videos. A flat, unanimated title menu, 18 videos and credits. I guess it's true what they say about when you assume things.
All the classic videos we've all seen before are here: "Hyena," "Nihilism," "Salvation" (first piss-off: it's not the much cooler "run from the guys in suits" version, it's the "stock footage of people dancing" version), "Time Bomb," "Ruby Soho," etc.
Also included are several videos made especially for the DVD. Don't worry though -- only five of them are in Tim-Armstrong-o-Vision (i.e. high contrast extreme black and white). Oddly included amongst them is the video for "Fall Back Down," changed from its previous full color version to stark Armstrong-o-Vision. Sadly, its cringe-worthy "famous people!" cameos remain.
Three of the new videos ("Roots Radicals," "I Am Forever" and "Indestructible") are amusing video scrapbooks culled from tour footage and what appears to be stills of press clippings, each from their respective eras.
A lot of the other new videos are simple performances (many in the aforementioned "Armstrong-o-Vision"), and while I didn't really expect Rancid to have a bunch of fully produced high-quality music videos tucked away in a vault like Prince has, a lot of them come off kind of same-y and could have been a touch more elaborate.
Sometimes, though, the relative simplicity works to their advantage. The standout of the new performance videos is for the Rancid (2000) track "Dead Bodies." The band plays (in full color) in Armstrong's Bloodclot Studios, Tim and Lars stylishly share a mic and they blast through the song. It, more than others, harkens back to the videos seen earlier on the DVD.
Watching these videos in order (thanks to the disc's one special feature -- "Play All") is a fun trip. It's cool to watch the band grow up, to see what looks to be the last Rancid release we'll see with Brett Reed involved and really it's just a nice to see Lars Fredriksen not in his semi-scary "viking"-era "Shady Biker Uncle" persona.
The DVD is very bare bones, and it's not without its glaring omissions ("I want my good version of 'Salvation'...who-oh-oh"), but if you're a completist, or maybe just in need of a reminder of how great Rancid can be, it's probably worth picking up.
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