Various - Building on Sight and Sound: Tier 1 DVD (Cover Artwork)


Building on Sight and Sound: Tier 1 📀 (2007)


Engineer Records', one of the most impressive and prolific labels in independent music, eclectic roster gets a boost when 20 bands team up with esteemed directors to capture their sounds on the silver screen. Capturing both the sights and sounds of Engineer Records is their latest and 100th release, a music DVD called Building on Sight and Sound: Tier 1. The diversity of the DVD ranges from Catalyst's bone-crushing metal to Canadian rockers Kover and the dreamy emo of Elemae, and it keeps the attention on the screen.

"Passion. That's what Engineer Records is all about. We love the hardcore scene, indie scene, punk scene, metal scene and we love our bands and the great music they create. It's all an Engineer scene to us," reads the opening credits.

Passion and creativity definitely flows from the Engineer crew, although this is an independent label, so the money didn't flow in the millions like Guns 'N Roses infamous "November Rain" video. Engineer's (and the directors) creativity allows them to overcome budget woes and produce excellent videos that would hold their own on MTV, that is if they actually played music videos.

Launching into the first video is New Jersey's own All Broken. Steve Pedulla, of emocore heroes Thursday, trades his guitar for a director's chair and joins co-director Chris Vaglio of Grey Sky Films. Their vision for "Ambrosia" begins with the band starring as doctors in an old-school styled public service announcement for "X-Treme Beauty Makeovers." Switching the angles between "doctors" giving tongue and cheek reasons for facelifts and other plastic surgery and scenes with the band playing live, Pedulla and Vaglio give stunning visual imagery to an already impressive song. A man playing what looks like a twisted version of the children's game "Operation" with a Barbie doll gives another dimension and puts a message of maintaining one's own idea of beauty rather then the one force-fed in mass media. Overall, Pedulla and Vaglio's video breathes more life into the complex "Ambrosia" and remains one of the best visualizations on this compilation.

Taking a more straightforward approach are Canadian rockers Kover. The storyline and drama is left at home when Kover teams up with director Michael Mead. Instead, the camera captures the Canucks in an energetic performance of "Deathbed Reflections." The multiple angles catch the gruff yet melodic trade off delivery of vocalists Neal Lyons and Ryan Mills and keeps the video feeling fresh. The camera manages to capture the excitement and enjoyment that comes from watching Kover play.

With 18 other bands clocking in at 84 minutes, Engineer's first DVD release is an excellent introduction to the label and their immensely talented and diverse roster. Regardless of what scene or genre is preferred, Building on Sight and Sound: Tier 1 has a bit of everything that will placate the masses no matter how fickle or cynical. The only remaining question is why the absence of a Moirai video? Hopefully, a second tier is on the way.