The Jettisoundz Promo Years - "The Promos From 1983 Onwards" DVD Review (Screen Edge) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Jettisoundz Promo Years - "The Promos From 1983 Onwards" DVD Review (Screen Edge)

The Jettisoundz Promo Years - Anyone who didn’t grow up in the 80’s may not appreciate how important music videos were to discovering new bands. While MTV predominately catered to mainstream artists, there were programs like 120 Minutes and Headbangers Ball that featured bands that fell outside of FM-radio standards and USA Network showed a mixture of videos from punk and indie-artists and concert films like "Urgh! A Music War" and Johnny Thunders live on its Night Flight program. In addition to the various cable programs, enterprising “Mom & Pop” record shops in my area sold bootlegs of the British video programs like Old Grey Whistle Test and Top of the Pops which showcased bands that were predominately unknown to an American audience.

The Jettisoundz Promo Years DVD reminds me of these British video programs as it contains 50 videos (just over 3 hours running time) of live and studio videos from a wide assortment of predominately British post-punk bands (“Fifty of the top names from the independents”). There is an eclectic mix of bands on this compilation which includes artists from the space rock, death rock, garage, rockabilly, roots-rock, hardcore and punk genres. As to be expected, some of these artists were regretfully overlooked at the time and others will have you chuckling ruefully. It is a great document of the DIY “anything goes” era that took place in the mid-80’s as, later in the decade, most of the first wave punk bands broke up, the larger indie labels had either collapsed or gotten acquired by the majors and indie-rock morphed into a style of music rather than an aesthetic / way of life.

Some of the stand-out cuts are two live Hawkind tracks (“Night of the Hawk” and “Needlegun”), a couple tracks from Nik Turner’s Inner City Unit (I.C.U), two tracks from Psychic TV’s acid house phase along with a delightfully bizarre cover of “R. U. Xperienced” which is sung by Genesis’ daughter Caresse. Some of the other bands include Guana Batz (UK’s answer to the Stray Cats), Cherry Bombz (Andy and Nasty from Hanoi Rocks along with Terry Chimes from The Clash), goth/batcavers Alien Sex Fiend and football hooligans Macc Lads. Jumping back over to this side of the world, US bands include NYHC stalwarts Crumbsuckers, Mark Linkous’ pre-Sparklehorse band Dancing Hoods and garage rockers, the Raunch Hands.

Brilliant stuff for anyone who “shot up” on college radio in the 80’s.

Screen Edge