PSR DVD Vol. 1
Reviewed by Greg Beets, Fri., June 11, 2004
PSR DVD Vol. 1(Perverted Son/Wage Slave Films)
Welcome to the weird world of Austin's Perverted Son Records, where feedback supplants steam whistles as the sound of modern industry, beery temples venerate Our Lady of Scratch Acid, and grown men urinate outdoors in broad daylight with no fear of persecution. This rough-hewn snapshot of a local underground label combines live performance footage, staged vignettes, offstage antics, and found video to cobble together a pseudo-narrative that achieves engagement despite its trigger-happy schizophrenia. As a visual promotion, the disc echoes the early video work of Devo, utilizing odd, out-of-context, and just-plain-disturbing imagery to make up for its low-budget pedigree. How else to explain the sight of Oh, Beast! drummer Brandon Crowe crushing an empty beer can against his genitals? By comparison, the band's Moog-laden, herky-jerk performance goes down much easier, as does the majestic guitar drone of Tia Carrera and the post-collision road rage conflagration of Gorch Fock. Recalling the days of TV stations ending their broadcast with the national anthem instead of infomercials, Brown Whörnet trots out a twisted disco rendition of "God Bless America" cut with clips of anti-war protests, flies on trash, and a porn starlet's collagen-engorged face. The disc also includes four music videos by Oh, Beast!, Gorch Fock, Mico de Noche, and Migas. Of these, Migas' "Let's Make Out" stands out by being not much more than a reel of enthusiastic couples playing tonsil hockey for the camera, but it's the Perverted Son featurette that remains the key attraction here. By approaching the project as a movie about the label as opposed to merely a collection of videos, Wage Slave Films' Tom Alter gives the Perverted Son collective a mythic, larger-than-life quality that amplifies the essence of their wares. Like Trance Syndicate's Love and Napalm video collection a decade ago, PSR is bound to confound Austin music historians for generations to come.