Inquisition - Uproar: Live and Loud! [CD/DVD] (Cover Artwork)


Uproar: Live and Loud! [CD/DVD] (2008)

No Idea

I remember telling one of my friends: "It's No Idea. It's going to be good when it comes out, it's just going to take a while."

Case in point: In 2006 I was approached over IM, through friends of friends by an OiNK moderator who mistakenly was under the impression I had a bunch of rare punk stuff and was wondering if I had Hot Water Music's Till the Wheels Fall Off. I laughed in his face (digitally, of course).

Like the oft-delayed, but finally released Hot Water Music B-sides disc, Uproar too had its own release slippage. No Idea's original release date for Uproar was supposed to be in late 2007, which slipped to January 2008, then, finally, to March 2008, which seems prosaic and oddly appropriate, given that the band's hiatus has been over a decade.

Twelve years in the making, Inquisition's Uproar: Live and Loud! has been hotly anticipated by everyone over the age of 30 in the Richmond punk scene and few others, save for sister city Gainesville, FL. The title is not misleading, as the performances on the CD are earnestly delivered (Thomas admits, breathlessly, in "Hotel X" that 'these are probably the last moments I'll be able to utter words for a while'), but imperfectly recorded (stage divers are lovingly blamed). Vocals cut out for "woahohoh"s and mic shares, which if you're only listening to the audio is quite annoying, but forgivable given the genre.

The DVD, not surprisingly, is where the most attention is. The interviews, truth be told, add nothing that you couldn't already figure out with knowledge of any band reuniting after a long hiatus. (The band is excited, nervous and scared, self-imposed expectations are through the roof and lots of people from the city remember the band affectionately and likely through rose-colored lenses.) Family (extended, touring, blood), not surprisingly gets a lot of air time on the disc, getting to the point where if you were passing through Richmond in a car between 1991 and 1996, you probably got a shout-out.

That's about it for the snark, because the sheer enthusiasm of everyone involved is overwhelming. For the first four songs on night one, Inquisition wore one of two expressions on their faces, the first being excitement and the second being disbelief. The audience, it would appear, didn't even bother with the second.

The footage, though, has lots of angles so as stage divers break the focus on the cameras (which on more than one occasion broke up a fantastic sing-along moment, removing the immersion factor), there's usually another one that picks it up from a less optimal view. This isn't like Shine a Light, where the footage is more or less perfect and the special guests have the combined star power of half our local solar system -- it's a document of a two nights of a punk rock band getting back together to a rabid, excitable crowd. Vocals are going to cut out for mic sharing and attendees are going to freak out.

There's a lot of love going around the room, and the release drips with it from every medium, even the album artwork which includes a full essay from the always verbose frontman and pictures, it would appear, duct-taped to the artwork. Even if the duct tape isn't real, it's still a nice impression, as if you're getting a handmade package rather than a more traditional release.

No Idea's price point is also worth mentioning. $8 for a full live DVD/CD with neither medium being the throwaway "bonus" one is a very tempting offer. I don't feel quite like I was there, but there's enough charm, energy and love that it doesn't matter. Recommended.