Government Issue: HarDCore Day’s Night: DVD

Whoa! This is awesome. Classic Government Issue from all eras. Three shows total: from the early and raw to middle period and over to the post hardcore days. Not to mention the “Strange Wine” video, which must be seen to be believed. The whole package is a work of quality. There are liner notes from Tom Lyle (who spent two years compiling this video) and John Stabb (also interviewed on here about the history of GI in front of the Wilson Center, to give you a perspective of the time and how things have changed since then), each offering their own memories of the shows and making of the “Strange Wine” video clip. The first show is at the WilsonCenter, recorded on July 25, 1982 (this is the show advertised with the legendary flyer of the three X’s and bars artwork, with Scream, Faith, Artificial Peace, and Deadline on the lineup). John Stabb is punk as hell with the bleached blond hair and cut-off jeans shorts. Multi-camera shots and constant switching keeps the pace moving quickly. Songs in the set include “Teenager in a Box,” “Religious Ripoff,” “Sheer Terror,” “No Rights,” “G.I.,” and “Hour of One.”
The only downside, and it’s really just slight, is that text will pop up from time to time identifying who’s who in the crowd of this show. It’s a cool idea, but it does distract.
The Philadelphia show from 1985 employs video toaster effects with solarized and layered images. Very much of the era. The band is more intense and overall better sounding. This show happened right before they went into the studio to record Joyride. Songs include “Plain to See,” “Joyride,” “Time to Escape,” “Partyline,” “Understand,” and “Four Walled Hermit.” The crowd shots from the ceiling look great and chaotic. The final show on here is from 1989, filmed at the University of Pennsylvania. The sound of GI had definitely changed at this point. Post hardcore tilted towards rock. This is actually some of my favorite material from the band. I know the purists out there may scoff, but hey man, the heart wants what the heart wants. The band is really on at this point from constant touring. GI were one of the few bands who progressed their sound and remained interesting, proving to be more than a one trick pony. There’s a reason why they are a legendary band. Anyway, this show is shot with three cameras by university students, and there’s even a smoke machine going!
Then there’s the “Strange Wine” video clip at the end. Filmed at some record store in a mall in Biloxi, MI, GI lip synch to the song, with a sparkly background and cardboard Elvis in the background.
Great video, and really, it’s Government Issue, so you know you can’t lose. A video I’ll hang onto for life. –M.Avrg (Dr. Strange, PO Box 1058, Alta Loma, CA91701)