Documentary Review: Salad Days – 1980-1990: A Decade Of Punk In Washington, DC (2014)

Release Date: December 19th, 2014
Directed by: Scott Crawford
Music by: Michael Hampton, various artists featured in the film

MVD Entertainment Group, 103 Minutes


Salad Days is a documentary I found on Amazon Video. If you’re a fan of the DC hardcore punk scene from the early 80s, you should find this pretty interesting.

The film interviews countless people who were either in the scene or who were effected by it in one way or another. You hear from Henry Rollins of Black Flag, Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters and Nirvana and even some commentary from Fred Armisen. There are actually so many people involved in this picture, it is hard to recollect them all.

Lots of bands and artists talk about the scene and the culture born from the scene. The documentary also covers what it was like for the DC punk kids who frequented the Georgetown area of town and what hardships they faced from those who hated them.

Salad Days features a ton of music and shows some of the most memorable performances of the day. You get an intimate looks at Bad Brains, Black Flag and so many others. You also get to see how the genre evolved as new bands came in to shake things up throughout the 80s.

One cool thing about the film is that it allows for contradictory points-of-view and doesn’t try to push forth its own predetermined agenda. This is most apparent when they get to talking about the history of the scene as well as the birth of straight edge and emo.

There are a lot of rock documentaries out there but from a quality and storytelling standpoint, this is one of the best in recent years.

Rating: 8/10

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