'The Color Of Noise' [Blu Ray/DVD]
(Blu ray+DVD / NR / 2015 / MVD Visual)
Overview: 'The Color of Noise' is a full length documentary about the Artist Haze XXL (Tom Hazelmyer) and his notorious record label, Amphetamine Reptile Records. Throughout the 80's and 90's the label would achieve almost cult-like status for being adventurous and daring in the midst of a time where safe punk rock would rule the airwaves with a newly accepted style of music by the mainstream college goers, Grunge.
Blu ray Verdict: In 1986, Tom Hazelmyer released the first single by his band Halo of Flies. The seven-inch, “Rubber Room” b/w “Thoughts in a Booth” was released in a tiny edition of 200. Hazelmyer’s hopes were that the record would get them signed to a “real” label. Those hopes went unrealized, and thus was born one of the most influential record label of the 80's and 90's.
'The Color of Noise', a film produced and directed by Eric Robel tells the tale of the label that, in the early days, was run out of a hand grenade crate tucked under Hazelmyer’s bunk while he was a member of the United States Marine Corps. That label would grow, and Hazelmyer would release influential records from bands like Helmet, Cows, Surgery, Melvins, Unsane, Hammerhead, Boss Hog, Mudhoney and Today is the Day.
In addition to the music, Hazelmyer enlisted artists such as Chris Mars, Frank Kozik, Derek Hess, and Coop to produce artwork/posters for the bands that released records on the AmRep imprint.
Sub Pop, Dischord, Matador and Touch and Go may have been more popular during AmRep’s heyday but were they better? Did they produce a more fulfilling product? Not by a long shot. If you wanted to get punched in the face visually and aurally you picked up an AmRep release. As Long Gone John of Sympathy for the Record Industry says in the film, AmRep was about “the things Tom like to do—eating meat, drinking, shooting guns.”
Hazelmyer, whether he likes it or not, is an icon. His label is legendary. Chris Spencer of Unsane, while being interviewed for the film, states simply and correctly, “AmRep was the shit.”
In closing, 'The Color of Money' is an American mid-west story about a man who created his own path, far from the norm and how he brought along with him countless others who would achieve greatness by sheer proximity and participation. This is the true American underground. Featuring over 50 interviews from across the globe, unearthed live footage of the bands and stunning visuals masterfully edited together resulting in one of the years' best music documentaries.
Premiered at Jack White's Third Man Records and taken on a US tour shortly afterwards, 'The Color of Noise' has gained the reputation as one of the most important films about the Noise Rock era. And, trust me, rightfully so. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Optional running commentary with director ERIC ROBEL and editor MICHAEL DIMMITT
"THE ENTHUSIASTS, THE VIDEOGRAPHER OF THE 90'S" Featurette
"MY TOWN" episode - 1992 interview with Tom Hazelmyer from public access TV
"AMREP DOES SUBPOP" - The story of possibly the rarest FRANK KORZIK designed 7" in existence
Full song CBGB performances by COWS, HAMMERHEAD, SURGERY, UNSANE and JANITOR JOE!
AMREP Poster Gallery + 8 page booklet with a forward by Tom Hazelmyer and director Eric Robel
Original Kickstarter Promo film & Official Trailer in HD