ANOTHER STATE OF MIND: PUNK ROCK HISTORY PART 4 OF 4
Another State of Mind is a documentary that follows two pioneering punk rock bands as they embark on their first cross-country tour. The documentary captures the hardships and the high points as Social Distortion and Youth Brigade load themselves onto an old school bus and make their way across the United States and Canada.
This documentary is great in parts and lacking in others. The real meat of this documentary is the footage of the bands making their way cross-country. Unfortunately, more than half of this documentary is dedicated to the early punk rock community and some of the characters that populated the punk rock landscape in 1982.
Many of the people that the documentarians focus on are vapid and bland. It’s as if most of the people that went to the punk rock shows were fashion victims and spent most of their time justifying their look, rather than talking about what punk actually was. Don’t get me wrong; there are some good punk rock philosophers in here, but the majority of the people just seem empty and stupid, from the French-Canadian girl who tells how she stays at peoples houses until they want sex to the girl from Washington D.C. that grows a uni-brow and cuts herself, we see a good reason why the punk movement was commercialized and downplayed.
The fans of the music are clearly the reason to blame for today’s punk that is all bark and no bite. The original punks were movers and shakers that could do it themselves and had something to say.
Nowhere is this idea more clear than in the footage of the bands. Youth Brigade was clearly a band that had some purpose and a reason for its punk music. They wanted to make a social change; they wanted to elicit some sort of positive response to the punk movement. Social Distortion, in particular lead singer Mike Ness, comes off as a good time fun band that really has nothing to say.