Toxic Narcotic - Live in Boston! DVD (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Toxic Narcotic

Live in Boston! 📀 (2005)

Rodent Popsicle

You really gotta hand it to the folks at Rodent Popsicle. At a time when many long-running DIY crust punk/raw hardcore labels are closing up shop (Profane Existence) or lying dormant (Punk Core), Rodent Popsicle Records pushes forward releasing music for and by punks in full knowledge that it's not the kind of music that's going to get anyone rich. Granted, this DVD came out a while ago, but the care and attention to detail that went into this DIY release is a testament to the spirit of punk rock itself.

Filmed in their hometown of Boston on December 18th, 2004 on their 15-year anniversary show, this DVD celebrates the storied history of one of hardcores's most vituperative, pessimistic bands. Captured on five cameras and mixed in 5.1 surround sound, the band blasts through 22 Toxic Narcotic favorites like "People Suck," "We're Not Happy," "We're All Doomed" and "Shoot People, Not Dope." With strobe lights flashing at an epileptic pace and people going apeshit left and right, the environment couldn't have been more ideal for a DVD shoot. Amidst the dozens of stage divers and circle pits (and even some hardcore dancing in the beginning of "Believin'") lead vocalist Bill Damon shares the mic with the punks, while many of them join him on stage for the final song "Drink." Strangely though, there's no in-between song banter, and the dub-style "21st Century Catastrophe" was left on the cutting room floor and included as a bonus feature. There's also no indication of the song titles except on the DVD case, which is moderately inconvenient unless you're a longtime Toxic Narcotic fan. However, the bonus footage is fun and interesting, most notably the short interviews of fans waiting in line for the show and discussing their favorite songs, memories and love for the band.

Toxic Narcotic is an act that clearly does things their own way and doesn't care about fitting into any prescribed mold. With 15 years under their belt (now 20), this DVD shows the following they've built and how they've done it: with a lot of passion, a helping of hate and an attitude that's as yet proven indestructible.