X - The Unheard Music DVD (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


The Unheard Music 📀 (2011)


Exene Cervenka. John Doe. Billy Zoom. DJ Bonebrake. If there was any justice in the world there would be shirts bearing the names of these four people, who have collectively produced some of the finest and most long lasting music over the last 30 years, much like the legacy left by the Ramones.

This DVD release is a 25th anniversary version of a documentary filmed in the mid '80s and to this day still comes across as a fresh piece of work bringing into your home both the band and the individuals making up this band, which has basically had a massive effect on punk music since they came together in the bleak music-less land of Los Angeles all those years ago.

You should not need any sort of historical catch up on X, as they have been around long enough to have left some imprint on your mind but what this documentary does is bring to life both the band, the individuals, the life they led plus the scene in which they came through. With enough images to provide Winston Smith with work for a year, the film provides some insight into a band which consisted of some of the most talented musicians ever to come out of that era. When you compare X to those around them at the time, they always seemed light years ahead and to this day, their music doesn't seem dated in any way.

With live footage of some really good quality and audio commentary from all members there is a feel that what you are getting is not only an overview of the band but also an up close and personal view of the individuals concerned.

As I grow older, and approach the half century phase of my life, there is something about X which appeals to me more every time I listen to them and makes me realize their timelessness. Yes, they're still going as a functioning live unit but as individuals there is still output being created. For me this shows that this is not some sort of blustery reunion band but a group of people which are musically active outside of the band itself.

As a documentary I find this as interesting as the Minutemen documentary We Jam Econo. Both are essential for anyone wanting to appreciate what was going on in the '70s and '80s and especially bands which have had an indelible mark on the punk world. For me, personally, both bands have displayed an ethic that forms the basis of what I have tried to carry through life with me. Yes, this might sound somewhat religious, but there are some bands that have that impact on people.

Oh yes, musically, you get all that you would expect to hear from X. Live footage and more general soundtrack songs, this is a much welcomed re-release and deserves to be enjoyed now as it was back in the '80s.