April 24, 2006
KID DYNAMITE [I]FOUR YEARS IN ONE GULP[/I] REVIEW
For a name that is so often dropped as a key band of modern hardcore, it’s a bit strange to think of how short Kid Dynamite’s reign really was. It certainly was, as the title suggests, Four Years In One Gulp: a brief yet significant presence in the hardcore scene that ended up as one of the most influential in recent years. This 90-minute DVD attempts to chronicle the band’s short existence with live footage and interviews of the band members and those closest to them.
The interviews are very fun to watch, because they are rarely just one person in a room, but rather groups so as to allow for great interaction amongst friends, resulting in some elaborate storytelling. The two main groups they interview are the band and the roadies, the latter providing some of the more humorous moments of the DVD. Roadie Dave Hause, now a member of The Loved Ones, tells hilarious stories from the road, my personal favourite being a bonus scene where he talks about stealing a member of the Misfits’ jacket.
The direction of the DVD is wonderful, and done in chronological order. It is narrated by singer Jason Shevchuk, and begins right with the first phone calls made to get a band started. You get to hear the band talk about jamming instrumentally without a singer, and there’s even footage of the band performing “Pacifier” at their first ever show. As the band tells stories from the road, it often goes to the aforementioned roadies or to Jade Tree’s Darren Walters (who, as you learn, auditioned for the position of singer of the band) to find another perspective on the story.
Live footage intersects the storytelling every few minutes, and the audio is often rather raw, matching the grainy video footage that is found. At times the poor audio and video quality can get a little frustrating, especially when you can barely make out Jason’s vocals, but for the most part the unrefined quality simply suits the band’s passionate and lightning-fast approach to music.
It should be noted, however, that not all of the audio and video quality of the band is poor, but actually, there is some very nice footage to be found. Unfortunately, Jade Tree decided it would be best to hide the best footage the band had, which was filmed at a CBGB’s reunion show. For those that own the DVD, what you have to do is head into the Bookworms section, and scroll to the end of it, and then highlight the words at the bottom, “A chapter in this book that you haven’t read yet.” The footage from this show is excellent, yet it is puzzling as to why this wouldn’t be showcased on the DVD, or at least be found in a more obvious location.
For those of you who remember the heyday of Kid Dynamite and want to relive the moments, or those who have discovered them recently and want to find out the impact that this band had on the people around them, Jade Tree offers an extremely comprehensive DVD. It’s a very thorough and entertaining disc, and is a must-have for any fan of the band.
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