The Punk-O-Rama DVD scores another great review!

Courtesy of href='' target='_blank'>

by Daniel Q. Marek
January 29, 2003

In 1980 Epitaph Records began out of the back closet of Brett Gurewitz who flipped the major label monopoly by saying, "you're the artist, we're the record company -- let us work for you."

Since it's conception, Epitaph backed some of the biggest and best punk bands in the genre, released Punk-O-Rama volumes as favorite mixed discs, began three sister labels and sold more records than any independent label in the industry.

This year the label releases the DVD version of Punk-O-Rama, which includes hard-to-find videos by some of your favorite punk bands and a few you may not have heard yet.

From the classic black and blue rumble of Rancid's "Nihilism" or "Salvation" to NoFx's anthem "Leave it Alone" and the hilarious "Stickin' in My Eye," you're sure to relive those early 90s drives with nothing to do but listen to Punk in Drublic with Two Heebs and a Bean.

While new videos from Refused, T(I)NC, and Millencolin add new light to The Shape of Punk to Come, Division of Laura Lee, Pennywise and Bad Religion take the cake with supped-up effects and insane bunny asylums backed by fresh songs sure to make the grade.

The Bonus Features menu offers great behind the scenes looks at Bad Religion and Bouncing Souls live, but the real prize is the story of Epitaph. Sure to make any industry beginner perk up their ears and grab the attention of major label executives trying to keep above the red, this feature takes you from day one in Gurewitz' closet to signing L7, NoFx, Pennywise, Down By Law, Rancid and Offspring in one year.

Although the story itself is interesting enough, the added animation brings crazy stories to life adding a humorous sense that goes hand-in-hand with the rough-necked label (also see the warning when the disc goes in). The side-splitting South Park-style animated scenes of Fletcher Dragge (Pennywise) getting wasted at a bar across the street from Epitaph's home base, then lighting the mailroom guy's head on fire and ending up on the roof surrounded by police, couldn't have been illustrated better.

The half hour feature will definitely make you laugh while learning a thing or two about the industry, but the 22-video frenzy included will keep your spiked hair, metal weighted, orange Mohawk wearing friends glued to the couch longer than Pro Skater 4.

With such a great time capsule in the genre, we can only hope that Volume II will follow soon afterwards. In the meantime, this David and Goliath story reaffirms that power in numbers works -- even if the staff only consists of 15 employees that like to buy full-page ads in Billboard Magazine just to give everyone the finger.