Punk Machine, The: DVD

This DVD seems compelling enough based on the cover spiel: “An inspiring story of an aspiring punk band—if only they could actually play!” Being a sucker for a good inspirational story, I plopped the DVD in my player and settled in, ready to be inspired. What I got instead was a load of live videos by many of today’s top purveyors of English punk (Subhumans, Citizen Fish) as well as some decent live footage of Yanks: Leftover Crack and Star Fucking Hipsters. These clips are interspersed with ongoing snippets (would skits be more what is going on here?) of Citizen Fish’s Jasper, Matt and Silas playing the aspiring punk band.

Honestly, these portions of the DVD seem like they were done on the first take and come off pretty goofy. Citizen Matt is pretty much cracking up in each scene, as if not even he can believe he is participating in such tomfoolery (I’ve only dreamt of using that word in print.) But, all in all, credit must be given for even attempting something other than just straight live video clips on a DVD. On that level, it succeeds and is a fun watch initially. Any replay quotient would come from the music clips themselves that are thankfully broken out in the DVD menu so you can just watch those. This DVD would probably appeal to fans of Citizen Fish/Subhumans as well as anyone who is interested in U.K.-based punk. After getting over my obvious disappointment in not getting an inspirational story I rather enjoyed it. –Garrett Barnwell (crashassailantrecords.com)