UNDER NOR CAL

2.5 Stars
Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 89 minutes
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California has a lot of good musical acts. Unfortunately, not many of them are on this documentary, which features various artists from the San Francisco and Monterey Bay Area. My musical tastes are a bit extreme, so I liked the inclusion of Godstomper, Los Dryheavers and Total Shutdown, but I am also capable of appreciating bands of any sort. That said, there wasn’t too much on here to appreciate. C-Tru just seemed like another lame rapper with no skills but enough of an ego to make people think otherwise, while Secadora just bored me to tears.

Johnny Fletcher, who is apparently responsible for most of this film, really did a disservice to the bands. He showcased their music with a few songs each, but never really asked any in-depth questions of them. I guess it’s funny to see how many of them have mined for gold or shot a pistol, but that doesn’t really tell the viewer anything about what drives the musicians. There’s some talk about supporting your local music scene and whatnot, but I wanted to know more. I wanted to know why Pink & Brown broke up, and I wanted hear about Replicator’s tour experiences. Instead, there’s C-Tru hitting a bong and the guys in Total Shutdown answering questions from under a police car. Not very exciting or interesting.

In Fletcher’s defense, he has brought together some diverse acts, though knowing what comes from the Bay Area, the line-up should’ve been far more eclectic. Once you realize that, this documentary becomes all the more disappointing.



Posted on August 7, 2004 in Reviews by
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