Top positive review
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Play it loud
on February 2, 2005
X holds the title of quintessential L.A. rock band, brushing past such contenders as the Doors (too psychedelic) and Love (too ephemeral). W.T. Morgan's jittery "X: The Unheard Music," finally surfacing on DVD, captures the band in the mid-1980s, standing tall atop the ashes of the city's punk scene.
Morgan makes the most of the band's Hollywood vibe. Stylized segments feature guitarist Billy Zoom (part Buck Owens and part Gorgeous George); singer Exene Cervenka (a rag doll with Bette Davis eyes); and singer-bassist John Doe and drummer D.J. Bonebrake (both blessed with leading-man looks).
"Unheard Music" covers some band biography ("Billy put an ad in the Recycler ...") but mostly it's X performing amid a blitzkrieg of images that range from Edsel ads to death squads shooting up El Salvador. A ghostly night scene shows a house transported across a freeway bridge as the title song plays. How L.A. How X.
The 1986 film, shot in 16mm, looks decent aside from persistent speckling. DTS and stereo audio options sound fine, but the Dolby 5.1 had a weird effect that sent vocals to the rear speakers. The Image Entertainment DVD offers no extras.