To begin this review, I have to ask a series of questions: Why does everybody like Homer Simpson? Why were the Beatles so big? What’s the appeal of the girl next door? The answer: it’s all attainable.
So when reviewing a docseries about some underground hardcore bands, there’s a whole set of circumstances, group identity, and a whole other slew of problems that pop up. Mainly the scene itself, the musicians involved, the fans, the experience etc. Yet when looking at this, you have to ask yourself is this attainable?
Everything in this docuseries is filmed fantastically. The cinematography was great, the music was outstanding, and there are some parts that do an incredible job at capturing the energy that these bands put out during their live sets. Yet there is a sort of central problem with this docuseries in that because it’s so focused on music, and in particular a music scene it doesn’t capture those little moments that make a scene so great.
For example let me relay a story, I remember I went to some Hip Hop show in San Diego. The show was really boring, I felt incredibly out of place, and the only upside was the fact that my girlfriend at the time was finally twerking on me. Yet it was when the show was over, and we went to an In N’ Out and I saw that everybody at the concert was over there. That it made the whole concert experience really worth it.
It was also when the people who I saw waving their hands up and down, like a scene from 8 Mile humanized. Or more specifically, in my mind I was out of place, I was uncool, I didn’t fit in. Yet here I am now eating In N’ Out and cracking jokes with them. I’ve been to other shows like that, whether it was some local shoegaze band, reggae, metal, country, etc. Each time what struck me most about the experience was actually talking to the people involved with that scene. The weird quirky personalities that you’d never find anywhere else.
I’m sure that anybody who has been to a concert has a similar experience, that it wasn’t particularly the show that blew them away, but the individuals that they met. Which is why, in my wholly subjective solipsistic view point, the docuseries needs a bit more work on.
I can see the passion of the music from the musicians on stage, the audience members, and even how well it’s put together. But I don’t know them as people. What are their fan’s jobs? What made them so passionate about this music? What are the bandmembers like? Can I hangout with them after the show? Can I sit down and have a beer with them?
Which brings me back to Homer Simpson. Everybody who fell in love with the Simpsons fell in love with Homer. Because he was like us. He hated his job, was lazy, overtly emotional, dumb, gluttonous, etc. Everybody can immediately relate to him, because we’re all in the same boat as he’s in. Yet if we take away all of his faults, and flaws he’s a man who has literally been an astronaut, has had every job under the sun, has a nice house, with a great wife, gets paid to do nothing. He’s living the dream.
Which if we bring that down to music, I can’t tell you how many people wish they were able to play guitar. Who were able to make music, but just didn’t have that creative spark. When musicians are playing on a caliber, as the bands mentioned in this docuseries are, it’s hard for the average Joe Schmo to relate.
Now you could argue that, “Doesn’t this mean that musicians shouldn’t aspire to virtuosity? That the dumb masses are too stupid for good music?” Which now I bring up The Beatles.
Which yes, I know is an unfair comparison, yet even if you look at most band interviews you can see a little bit of yourself in them. There are very few bands without personality. Everybody has some endearing quirk about them, even if they are the most depressing band of all time whose leader singer killed himself they still know when to let loose and have fun.
Which finally brings me to my last point the girl next door. Now when Gilligan’s Island came out, everybody thought that the redhead bombshell Ginger Grant would be the sex symbol of the show. Nobody would have predicted that the girl next door Mary Ann Summers would be the sex icon of the show. Now why is that?
Well to illustrate my point it’s because she was more attainable. She was more approachable, she was the girl who would give you a chance to talk to. That maybe if you played your cards right, and were able to say the right things she would fall for you. You didn’t have to be a movie star, millionaire, or Chad Thundercock, you just had to be you, and not fuck that up.
Which when we’re talking about Hardcore music, whether you think it’s hardcore or not. There is going to be some timidity when approaching it. I can read between the lines and see that there is a passionate community, that people are uninhibited when expressing themselves in this community. Yet is it only for “Hardcore” scene people? Can I join in? What the show is after my job, where I have to wear a suit and tie, and I don’t have time to change so I show up in a suite and tie, will I be ridiculed? How inviting is the scene, and the community?
All in all the thing that is lacking in the docuseries is a focus on the people who make the music, people who listen to the music, and the fans of the music. Because I can see quite clearly the passion of the artists and the fans of the community, but I don’t know them as people. Which is the central complaint I have with the docuseries, and which hopefully will be remedied, because I can see a lot of potential with the amount of passion that was on display. I really look forward to this docuseries and I hope that it grows, and that everybody achieves great success.