Despite the Punk Group’s assertion that it’s “an attitude, not a fashion statement,” endearingly half-baked visual themes (fake mustaches, Run DMC-style Adidas jumpsuits and its trademark white sunglasses) have always been central to the Punk Group experience. It was only a matter of time, then, before the duo released a DVD.
There’s plenty of reason to believe, though, that a Punk Group DVD might actually rule: The duo has an insatiable appetite for production, claims a repertoire of well over a hundred songs and has previously released a handful of funny, high-quality animated videos to accompany its slightly lower-quality DEVO-meets-NOFX joke-punk. But no matter how “the Model” and “Sex Object” spruce up, the Punk Group is two dudes playing guitar and singing robotically, which by all accounts translates to great video.
Accordingly, the concert footage on their new DVD, From Outer Space, recorded from gigs at Dante’s and the Crystal Ballroom, is spectacular. Video and sound quality is excellent, and the multiple cameras capture the band in front of largely interested (and in some cases downright hostile) audiences. Yeah, the sheer ridiculousness of the band singing “Toby Keith is a fucking asshole” or rapping “Cuz we’re the Best” to hundreds of pimple-faced teens is pretty heartwarming.
Lucky for us, the Punk Group was smart enough to pad its concert footage with campy, pontificating in-the-studio “interviews,” doctored footage from local news reports and the aforementioned shorts. The opening sequence alone—psychedelic images with an early-’90s cable-access show’s production value—is worthy of repeated views. And the adorable nervousness of the boys playing with DEVO’s Jerry Casale proves they’re not the short-tempered fellas they sometimes play on TV. While From Outer Space may not be quite ready for prime time, there’s certainly enough here to make for a quality matinee showing.