Epitaph records is THE definitive punk label, made for punks by punks (FUPU if you will), and this is their first release from a spin-off of one of their most successful ventures. The Punk-o-Rama compilation albums that Epitaph comes out with every year are the label's way of showcasing all of their bands, on one CD, for under 4 bucks. I'm willing to bet that if you go look at your record collection right now, you have at least one of them. Epitaph took that same idea, and has now extended it to a different, more visual medium, DVD. They span their entire career as label, at least since they started making videos, on this DVD, going from old school (Bad Religion, The Descendents, NOFX, Rancid), to new school (Hot Water Music, Division of Laura Lee).
For anyone that has ever bought any album that was put out on Epitaph, Punk O Rama: The Videos - Volume I should be a complete no-brainer of a purchase, for a whole bunch of reasons. The first, and most importantly, there are 22 amazing punk videos on this album, and unless you own a rather good computer, with a super fast Internet connection, you probably have never seen them before (thank you very much mainstream MTV - not like these bands would want to be on MTV).
The bonus features, alone, are worth the purchase of this DVD. First of all, anyone that is interested in their roots needs to watch "The Epitaph Story" feature, and learn about how Epitaph rose to the level of importance they now hold in the punk community. And for the punks that don't give a shit about that, there's a Bad Religion live Set from 1992, the Bouncing Souls live, and a behind the scenes look at the making of the Pennywise video for "Fuck Authority." All four of these features are very well done, and well presented. Unfortunately, they are only a distraction from the real product here, the videos, but I suppose that's why they are called bonus features.
This DVD should appeal to all punks - old and new. For me personally, this album hits very close to home for my love of music, because one of the videos basically started me down the path I have chose in life. When I was about 13, and I stayed up late one Sunday night to watch 120 Minutes on MTV, and it was there and then that I caught my first glimpse of what punk was, as I watched Rancid's "Salvation,"(video #6 on the DVD) I knew that this was something I needed more of. The next day I went to school, asked one of my friends for a tape of his copy of Let's Go, and it's all history from there. This is a must have for any and all punks, because this is really an opportunity to experience a bunch of videos that otherwise might be locked away, only to be seen by very special people, but now you can be one of those special persons.
I highly recommend rocking and reminiscing to this DVD. Shave that mohawk. Go pierce your nose with a safety pin. And slam dance around to this dvd.
Jason Cipriano is an Assistant Editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.