Murder City Devils Rock & Roll Won't Wait

It's too bad Sub Pop blocked the release of this documentary for two years because it might have seemed a little more relevant if it had been issued closer to the time when the band was still making somewhat of an impact on the underground. And it was made shortly before the band broke up, so after all this time to mourn, well, how many fans have already moved on? Still, this is a documentary better suited to the diehard Murder City Devils fans than those who are looking to get into them in the span of this hour-long DVD. If you don't know the Devils, or only know a little, this isn't the kind of documentary that will leave anyone feeling closer to the band, or more knowledgeable of their career. There is some interesting concert footage though, and its random, spontaneous feel makes it worth mentioning. The first clip that really induces some excitement is footage of the Devils' old band, the Deathwish Kids, which shows them playing in a record shop. Obviously there's no stage, so the band and the fans are all crashing into each other. Another good moment is when the Devils are playing a larger gig and a PVC-clad girl climbs out of the audience, gets lead singer Spencer Moody on his back and starts grinding on top of him. Now that's the kind of stuff every rock'n'roll show needs. The sound quality is shit though, and some of the footage looks like it was shakily videotaped on a handheld. It also seems like a lot of time was wasted on unnecessary details when they could have been focusing on more band history or live shows. Does anyone really need to know about the life story of the band's roadie, Gabe? Is it necessary to go as far as interviewing the guy's parents? Probably not. The interviews with the actual band members don't get very far, sticking within the basic rock'n'roll journalism topics of how they got started and what's hard about being a rockstar. And although it was said that the Devils were "one of Seattle's most notorious bands," the proof of any debauchery is seriously lacking. This documentary would be a nice addition to a fan's collection, but it won't be watched too often. (MVD, www.musicvideodistributors.com)