One for the fans

by Rob Rector

With musical reverberations as prominent as those heard from the guitars in its earliest incarnation, noise guitar music was influential and important to the youth of the time which embraced the feedback as the generation’s next punk movement.

Beautiful Noise, a lovely, surface-level ode to this sound was able to crawl into caves of some of the most reclusive artists of that time to film them for this nostalgic sonic stroll. For those who grew up on bands such as Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, Dinosaur Jr. and Swervedriver, Beautiful Noise provides more than enough reason to dust off those old cassettes from the late 80s through mid 90s when this style of music was experiencing its peak momentum. For the uninitiated, it’s a good starting point to see where many of the influential artists of today have borrowed their sound.

Beautiful Noise
Written & Directed by
Eric Green
Emma Anderson, Alex Ayuli, Andy Bell
Release Date
Out Now
Rob’s Grade: B

The long-gestating project was ultimately released in 2014 (after being completed in 2008) after a Kickstarter campaign gave it the financial boost it needed to clear all the rights hurdles. It has spent the last year on the festival circuit and in now available on DVD and online, which really is perhaps the best place in which to view the film. For then, as soon as you see and hear the bands included in its exhaustively researched project, you can swing over to YouTube and check out some of their work.

Writer/director Eric Green has an obvious affinity and the doc is mostly just a bouquet to those bands, with little but effusive praise for all the acts in the genre (which was sometimes referred to, rather dismissively, as “shoegazer” due to the many acts who wished to be more focused on their musical exploration than becoming another video poster child for MTV). He’s amassed a number of talented artists who are quick to compliment the founders of this movement — Billy Corgan, Trent Reznor, Wayne Coyne are just a few of the acts who express gratitude and profess the influence it had on their own sounds. But even more interesting are the interviews of the reclusive Kevin Shields (of My Bloody Valentine) Jim Reid (Jesus and Mary Chain) who speak to the fact that they were just not ready for the age where media image was equally as important as music at that time.

It never delves deeper that more than a big reunion special, but as a fan of all the acts listed within, what a hell of a reunion it all is.