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Various Artists

Come On Feel The Noize: The Story Of How Rock Became Metal DVD

Review by Gary Hill

I want to start this review by framing it with the following statement: I really enjoyed watching this. I found it very entertaining and captivating. I recommend it pretty highly to fans of rock and metal. However, I find the title and premise to be completely absurd. In fact, I don't think I'd even call this a documentary. It's more like a series of short vignettes that seem largely disconnected. The film-makers seemed to try to put it all together with some sort of largely unconvincing narrative. I think a better sub-title for this might be something like "Here Are Some Bands We Think You Might Like."

I expected, and rightfully so due to the way it was billed, something more like a documentary about the early days of metal and how it sprang from bands like Cream and Blue Cheer. The video starts like that, but quickly seems to get lost. There are some strange statements made (like when they said that Judas Priest - who clearly predate the actual punk movement - created their sound by combining punk with other things) at various points throughout, really diminishing the credibility of the whole thing. Bands like Blondie are included with no real connection to metal, but rather the punk movement. There is no sense of continuity and the whole narrative seems to play fast and loose with chronological sequence.

With all that out of the way, though, here is my advice: Ignore those things completely and sit back and enjoy the bits on the various bands. There are some cool interview segments and lots of intriguing live bits. You might not like all the bands, and might question why some are included, but you might find some new acts you will enjoy (I had never heard Powerwolf before, and am definitely interested in hearing more from them now). You might also see clips of bands you dig that are new to you (Motorhead's rather odd, but so cool, performance of the title track to Orgasmatron was one of those for me).

Honestly, I think the criteria for inclusion here was more about whether the film-makers liked a band and whether they had material to which they could secure the rights. The bulk of the clips come from Beat Club and Musikladen shows. There is plenty of cool stuff here, from rare performances to interview bits. I really think this is a strong release. It's just not put together in all that convincing a way, and the marketing and explanation for it really tends to fall apart. So, the bottom line, is this: as long as you know what you are getting here, this is highly recommended. They just make it a bit difficult to figure that out.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 1. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.

 
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