Various - Grind: Music from The Motion Picture (Cover Artwork)


Grind: Music from The Motion Picture (2003)

Atlantic Records

By 2003, skateboarding had cemented its place in popular culture with a chain skate shop in almost every big mall across North America. The X-Games were a hit on ESPN. Tony Hawk was now a household name. MTV’s Jackass was all the rage. These factors all helped usher in a truly mainstream feel to something that could now be marketed to the average teenager without them having to go search it out on their own.

This era’s big budget skate movie, Grind, tells the both equally unrealistic and unfunny story of three rag-tag average joes who dream of one day skating alongside their pro skater heroes. Apparently, they are already good enough to compete with the pros, but sadly nobody will watch their demo tape, so they pack up a van and drive across the country to crash skate demos and contests as the black sheep team who just can’t catch a break. Sprinkled on top of this adolescent fairy tale is some crude humor, random cameos from a few pros such as Bam Margera and a whole lot of strategically placed products from the biggest skate companies around (I saw shots of my own current pair of shoes at least twice).

The film’s soundtrack represents the shift that skateboarding was going through at this time: totally away from underground culture. There are a few punk songs, a few radio rock songs, a few hip-hop songs and even some reggae. I suspect the powers that be stipulated that it had to be appealing enough for the mall crowd and contain something for everyone because… everyone will want to ride a skateboard after watching Grind! However, it is worth noting that many of the work horses for heavy-hitter singles in the early 2000s are absent here: no Green Day, Blink-182 or Sum 41 to be found.

Most of the tracks appear throughout the film, with the climax going to P.O.D.’s “Boom” during the cringe-worthy vert ramp showdown spliced together with shots of the actors standing on the ramp and their pro stand-ins actually doing the tricks. Although there is not a scene with a real, live band at any point seems a bit odd; you would think they could have gotten Unwritten Law to play on a makeshift stage at one of these fictitious contests. All in all, this weird concoction of performers across the album does not work; the bands and styles played are too widely varied for a cohesive feel. The jarring differences in going from Sean Paul to Simple Plan or from Less Than Jake to SLR Whitestarr were just too strong for me. Plus, the fact that none of the songs themselves are exclusive to the film means that fans of these bands will probably stick with the cut of the track on whatever album they already own.


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