Various - Release (VHS) (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Various

Various: Release (VHS)

Release (VHS) (2000)

Victory


3.5
A documentary about modern punk and hardcore? Imagine that. Well, thankfully, somebody (Brant Sersen) found the modern scene as relevant and important as the old school, so we finally have a video about us. For picking modern punk alone, I'd give much respect to Victory and Sersen Park, but t...

A documentary about modern punk and hardcore? Imagine that. Well, thankfully, somebody (Brant Sersen) found the modern scene as relevant and important as the old school, so we finally have a video about us. For picking modern punk alone, I'd give much respect to Victory and Sersen Park, but the fact that it is tasteful, and unexploitive makes it that much better.


I've never seen a video like this. It completely, and totally gave an insiders look at punk and hardcore. Admittedly, the video leans more towards the hardcore, with more live performances from Victory bands than any of the others on the box, and those hoping for some live Bad Religion, Blink-182 or Lifetime will be disappointed; while the box has them listed, they only provide a few minutes of interview apiece. Nevertheless, the true strength of the video is the look at the underground, the small venues, passionate musicians, and of course, the kids.


With any hardcore video, there is the mention of Straight Edge, and surprisingly, it doesn't come off heavy-handed like so many of the PBS-style documentaries about straight edge that seem to be on TV every damn night. Believe it or not, most people into straight edge are peaceful, active people practicing a safe lifestyle, and this video shows that. Unlike the shock-filled videos of straight edge violence, in Release the majority of violence is attributed to people lacking common sense, not just those lacking alcohol.

Watching this video reminded me of the many basements I have played in, the thrill of touring in way out, small towns. And you see the one major difference that seperates punk, hardcore and emo from other genre's of music. The sense of community. People in the film seem to wonder what seperates these scenes, when they have so much in common. I honestly don't know. If anything, a united punk/hardcore/emo scene would be better for everyone, but petty people like to ostracize people, and there is little that can be done. But I digress.

The film is a fast paced collage of live footage, interviews, and music. Documentaries are often boring, but if you are a fan of any of the types of music mentioned, you will be enthralled seeing so many great people on screen. It was awesome to see the enterprising efforts of a seventeen-year old, female promoter and indie label owner, and I was happy to see that punk and hardcore doesn't have to be a boys-only club. Much props to her.


I really recommend this movie for anyone even vaguely interested in our scene.


(To check out some trailers, visit the Release site.)