V/A – Skate & Surf Fest Vol 1

V/A – Skate & Surf Fest Vol 1 / 2005 Radiotakeover / 22 Tracks /http://www.radiotakeover.com / http://www.highrollerstudios.com/

The Skate & Surf Fast DVD is more of a collection of live videos for famous bands (Midtown, Armor For Sleep) than an actual film. Sure there are interviews interspersed throughout the tracks, but by and large the disc feels like a promotional video for a smattering of Militia Group and Drive-Thru bands. Some of the decisions made on this disc are impressively cognizant of the desires of the audience who will purchase this disc. For example with each band, there is a sandwich with the bread of the two tracks covering the meat of the interview; this makes a nice segue way between bands (music buttressing music) and keeps the disc from dragging as much as most tour DVDs do. One note though that really hinders the entire flow of the disc is the corporatism espoused by the interviewer through the spoken sections; there is no soul or real introspection in eir line of question (like an individual of Nardwuar’s stature) but rather just a pedestrian, Spartan desire to just plug a “new” album or put forth the band in a neat package. However, this style of interviewing feels dictated by the label powers that be; for example, the Andrew WK interview actually gives the viewer some way into Andrew’s soul instead of just trying to plug “I Get Wet”.

The mastering of the tracks and videos are well-done for this type of live video, not quite being at the level of “Live In A Dive”, but still miles above the quality usually achieved from the average band with someone recording in the pit. The interesting thing that comes to bear throughout the DVD is the fact that the music is not perfect, not overdubbed (like KISS’s Alive) and really provides a different track instead of a re-vamped studio track (just listen to Piebald’s “American Hearts” and Andrew WK’s “Party Hard”).

The music that is covered by this DVD is skewed to the “emo” edge; while this is the case with the bandlist that played the 2004 stage, there are some major bands missing from this treatment. Moneen, Brand New, H.I.M., Taking Back Sunday, and much more are missing from this disc. However, the choices that had to be made for this disc really seem to complement each other even if they only represent 12 of the 80 bands that played the show last year. Pick this DVD up just for the differing version of the hits to be found inside.

Top Tracks: Armor For Sleep’s “Being Your Walls” and Senses Fail’s “One Eight Seven”

Rating: 6.8/10

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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