Identity Parade:: Identity Parade: By Todd Taylor

What a nice looking book. Not since Fucked Up and Photocopied have I touched a DIY book that had a hard cover, woven spine, and heavy paper. It’s a collection of photos taken by a single photographer, primarily in Scandinavia between 1995 and 2001. As when you get into the realm of art and photography, we all have different tastes. I’m a sucker for shots with a lot of detail and not a lot of contrast so you can see a bunch of tiny things and still be blown away by the shot itself. On many occasions, Kristofer excels in this capacity, and many more. There are some truly amazing shots of Good Clean Fun, Intensity, The Hives, Randy, and Breach. My rule of thumb for a band shot is simple: it makes you want to be at the show. You can’t take the fact away that Kristofer’s got the eye and timing for a great live photographer with a keen sense of light and mood. However, there are a couple of things that prohibit me from outright recommending this book. First off, since it’s a photo book and he’s selecting the pictures to run, what sense does it make to selecting pictures he openly admits are bad, such as the singer of Gameface eating a microphone or the shot of the backs of heads in an audience at a Blindfold show? Some photo editing would have helped a bunch. Text-wise, there’s a good story about Victory Records ripping off his negatives. Although I will preface this by saying I know no Swedish beyond the instructions on the side of a penis pump box, the book is fraught with poor English translations, messed-up spellings and run-on sentences. If it was all poorly written in Swedish, I wouldn’t have noticed, but it isn’t. It’s pretty difficult to read, which is a bummer. It definitely detracts from the photos a bit, and knocks the book down a peg or two down below other photo books that have stood the test of time and continue to kick ass, like Banned in DC and Hardcore California. –Todd (This was released by a bunch of labels. Here are three. Havoc: PO Box 8585, Minneapolis, MN 55408, http://www.havocrex.com/; Armed With Anger, PO Box 487, Bradford, BD2 4YU, UK, http://www.awarerecords.com/; Busted Heads, Box 275, 901 06 Umea, Sweden, http://www.ds13.com/)