Various Artists – Give ‘Em The Boot (A Film By Tim Armstrong) [DVD]

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Various Artists

Give 'Em The Boot (A Film By Tim Armstrong) [DVD] - HellCat Records

Everyone knows of the great punk compilation series called Give ‘Em The Boot that gets released every couple of years through Hell-Cat Records. There’s been four now, and each one gives the listener a right kick in the ass. Well, here we have another disc to add to that collection, but instead of being your regular audio CD, this one comes in the form of a DVD with twenty six live performances from Hell-Catbands between 2000 and 2004. The footage was filmed all around the world; some in the States, some in Japan, Canada, Ireland, UK, and even France. It was all put together by the label owner and Rancidlead singer, Tim Armstrong in a nice compact DVD for your viewing pleasure and although he did quite a good job compiling it all together, there are still a few things that stick out when watching it.

The first thing that is plainly evident is the abnormally large amount of Rancid performances in the show. Out of the twenty six performances, twelve of them are of Rancid, which is quite a large portion of them. For Rancid fans, this will be heaven, but for others, this may become annoying. But luckily, they didn’t keep the twelve songs all looking the same. There are a couple acoustic tracks, including a great version in Seattle of Roots RadicalNo Fun with none other than Iggy Pop and Knowledge sang with the help of AFI‘s Davey Havoc. That’s not all Havoc did either, right after the little duet with Armstrong they go into the final clip of the DVD with Rancid closing a concert in France. A few seconds into Radio, Davey Havoc runs on stage and takes the mic from Armstrong to finish the song with them, and its things like those that keeps the DVD entertaining throughout.

The second thing you notice is the weird way that Armstrong decided to display the live performances. While a few of the clips are in full color and very vibrant, most of them are cut down to the use of two shades: black and white. This really takes away some of the viewing pleasure of the DVD. Its seems to be lacking the right image to keep you watching. Sure, it works for a few bands – most notably Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros with Rudie Can’t Wait – but for the rest it seems to bring their sections down. Yeah, you can still tell what’s happening, but its not nearly as clear as it could and should be.

But once you get pas those two things, the only thing that matters are the bands, and if you like Hell-Cat Records, then you’ll like this. with songs from bands like Dropkick Murphys, Horrorpops, The Transplants, Tiger Army, US Bombs, Nerve Agents and F-Minus, they DVD goes through most of the label’s roster and even throws in some slight behind the scenes footage too.

It’s not the best DVD ever, but it does get the job done. Maybe if there was a better image and more diversity in the bands, it would received a higher grade; but for not, its just a run of the mill DVD for Hell-Cat fans.