Various Artists - Let Them Know: The Story of Youth Brigade and BYO Records
Record Label: BYO Records
Release Date: September 22, 2009
It seems that the last few years have seen a plethora of "punk" documentaries. From American Hardcore (based on the book of the same name) to a semester of the genre packed into Punk: Attitude, we're certainly getting a visual of the 80's and 90's punk platform of yesterday. BYO Record's 25th anniversary documentary is not one to be shelved at all. Not only is there a visual, there's an audio accompaniment that is equally as nostalgic for some.
The CD compilation isn't like all the others, where a record company takes the best bits of their grandeur run. Instead, the compilation decides to mix the elder and the influenced with covers from Bouncing Souls, NOFX and Matt Skiba - who are all interviewed about BYO Record's influence in the movie. If you're a fan of the older songs by Youth Brigade, 7 Seconds and The Adolescents, some of the covers won't be as gritty as the original versions, but many give praise and adhere to the passion of the first soapbox fist pumps and ideas.
As for the documentary, it's definitely the upper end of the deal, unless you're a die hard old school punk fanatic or a nostalgic audiophile. Watching the documentary is interesting, because we're sometimes led to believe that after punk's initial death in the late 70's, that all of a sudden a new form just started up and kept rolling along in the 80's, but in fact, the missing chapter is the ideas that BYO Records and Youth Brigade brought to the West Coast scene, and even more importantly, to the structures of community and overseas touring. At one point, they even end up paying for that little word called "progression."
Let Them Know should be the next piece of visual documentation to catch in the quest in learning all that was punk, and the ideas that are still held by those that fight to keep the passion within the genre and mindset alive today. The DVD is the upside to the deal, while the accompanied CD will be either a much welcomed extra set of pages to the school book, or extra material worth a sifting through for others.