Victory Video Collection
Perhaps this should’ve been titled A Multimedia History of Hardcore in the ’90s. Unimaginative title aside, the two-hour Victory Video Collection DVD displays in both visual and audio terms the considerable hand the record label’s played in the hardcore scene in the States (especially) and abroad (specifically, Sweden). From the visionary (Integrity, Refused, Guilt, Bloodlet, Snapcase) to the suspect (Shelter, Catch-22, Grade, River City Rebels) to the merely unoriginal-but-great-at-what-they-do (Strife, Greyarea, Shutdown) • and lest we not forget legends Warzone and Cause For Alarm • the Chicago stable has come to redefine hardcore as much as define it in its various mutations, even throwing some curveballs along the way (Hi Fi & the Roadburners, Baby Gopal).
Well, they’re all here, except for the unknowingly influential Deadguy and, er, the much-maligned One Life Crew. Running the gamut from MTV-slick (the post-Tool/screaming-at-a-wall angst of Snapcase’s “Typecast Modulator” and Earth Crisis’ “Nemesis”) to B-movie lo-fi (the grainy Marxist metaphors of The Strike’s “Shots Heard Round the World”) to even the arty (Burning Heads’ pisstake on Yellow Submarine in “Wise Guy”) and just plain dull (various nearly straightforward live footage of Doughnuts, Hatebreed, et. al.), this DVD covers all the bases • and well, at that • the genre’s travailed in the past decade. Given Victory’s higher profile during the latter half of the ’90s, nearly 2/3 of the collection understandably focuses on that era, but proceedings get more interesting as the videos get older: more “authentic,” if you will. Where’s Deadguy, though? As a bonus, we get leftover video footage from Strife, Earth Crisis, and Grade, as well as a horrendously no-budget and highly cheesy Roadburners vid from, like, way back • fine stuff, all. Seriously, where’s Deadguy? Nonetheless, an indispensable time capsule.
Victory Records, PO Box 146546, Chicago, IL 60614; http://www.victoryrecords.com