I was lucky enough to see the new documentary “Filmage” over the holidays, a movie I felt like I’d waited my whole life to see! Yeah it was that good and it chronicles the story of the legendary pop-punk godfathers the DESCENDENTS / ALL from their start in the late 1970’s. It’s about time that these guys get the recognition they deserve and it seems as if these days they are more popular than they’ve ever been.
If you don’t know who the Descendents are then this is the perfect place to start as Filmage is premiering now all over the USA. But plain and simple The Descendents are the BEST pop punk band of all time. They’ve influenced countless bands and if it it wasn’t for them It be a safe bet to say that a band like Green Day would have never existed. I pretty much sum them up as the ultimate in real teen angst. The true spirit of what it was like to be a nerdy teen with raging hormones. Growing up in the 80’s I loved punk rock but it wasn’t until I heard them the first time that I really found a band that truly spoke to me as a teen.
The Descendents said all of the shit that you were really feeling growing up, something a lot of the punk bands lyrically were maybe too macho to sing about. Yeah they were most definitely not politically correct, at times even sexist, incredibly sappy, often crude and totally immature but at their core just a band of heartbroken nerds with no punk rock image. They covered the spectrum of hardcore punk while at the same time ripping into shameless love songs simultaneously. How many bands can even pull that off today much less back in 1982?!
Well Filmage gives us the full scoop into the minds of these guys, their lives, their struggles and transitioning from the Descendents into the much less popular outfit ALL back in 1987. The movie was made by true Dents fans and it shows by how much care was put into this documentary. Filled with amazing vintage footage of the band, incredibly personal interviews, hilarious animated sequences and interviews with the likes of Dave Grohl, Mike Watt, Mark Hoppus, Keith Morris amongst many others whom cite the band as having a huge influence on them.
It’s funny, sonically awesome and emotional as we follow the struggles of the band members lives up to current times. The movie in the end is really the full story of Bill Stevenson, the bands only constant member throughout Descendents and ALL while also filling us in on his time as drummer for Black Flag from 1982-1985.
It’s his journey as the band leader and all of the friends along the way that helped make his dream a reality. It tells us exactly why the band is finally getting the attention they deserved all these years. While watching it I was almost glad they never hit the big time, as the band always stayed true to their signature sound til this day. We also get a great glimpse into ALL’s struggle to fill the shoes of the bands most valuable musical weapon, Milo Aukerman, the ultimate nerd front man.
I don’t wanna give away to much of the story but I put this up there on the same level as “A Band Called Death” one of the years best rockumentaries. So check this out if you’re jones’n for the full story of the greatest melodic hardcore band of all time-you won’t be disappointed!
Check out the trailer: