Sum 41

Sum 41 - Bring the Noise - DVD - Review

Sum 41 - Bring the Noise - DVD - Review
Sum 41

Bring the Noise


I'm always dubious about unauthorised band DVDs. I'm even more cynical when it includes contributions from the likes of 'TV celebrities' and 'close friends' (oh really?). Add to that heady mix, no original music by Sum 41, and production by a small British media production company I've never heard of (just how did they get access to all those people exactly?) and the DVD starts to seem rather amateurish. However, putting my building scepticism aside, it's interesting to see what they do with the documentary - after all, you shouldn't judge a book by its cover (and other assorted clichs like that).

Quite some way through the DVD it's quite obvious that, although the film is informative and interesting, it really seems to be two parts Sum 41 documentary, one part general look at the Ajax (their home town) music scene. That's not to say that the look at the scene in which the band formed gave an extra dimension to the band in some way, it's more that it felt like a sociology documentary. It's not helped when a former promoter for the band feels she has to explain what a residency is - it really shows who the market for this documentary is.

It starts off with a look at what Ajax was like to grow up in (not great), with locals like a local skate shop owner putting in their two-penny's worth. The comments from their former bassist tell us more about the beginnings of the band than almost anything else, though.

"Bring the Noise" finally starts concentrating on the band around Chapter 3, when we get to see what the Sum 41 were like at school and who contributed what to the band. We also see some live footage of early gigs and how, and why, their live performance came to be the way it was. It also tells us something about the way that the four individual members' attitudes to music and writing songs. However, the lack of band input also detracts from the telling of the story - the ill-fated trip to the Congo is distinctly lacking in the 'indepth' feel that Chrome Dreams was promising us.

Despite features like the early footage, and commentary from people like ex-band member Richard Roy working well, there's still a nagging feeling that the DVD could've been more professional. What this DVD does do well, though, is bring together a lot of footage that most people have never seen before. That, coupled with some of the people they interviewed, has made the telling of the story interesting. It's not just ex-band members who give a good insight, it's the people who knew them when they were first starting out and who've seen them evolve.

There is a lot to this DVD, and the flow is pretty good, but to me it's for completists only, those people who feel they have to have every Sum 41 release out there. It's interesting, and has a kind of home-made charm, but like homemade things, it's has limited appeal

(Chrome Dreams)

Natasha Perry