"It's strange to think of all of the goofy fun times we had sitting in front of Richard's television just dicking around, passing his Warlock back and forth and throwing TERRORIZER and AUTOPSY riffs at one another somehow has amounted to a DVD 17 years later." That quote from former ENEMY SOIL bassist Mason — one of numerous folks to have done time in the band with ring leader Richard Johnson — is an insightful capsule about how a little-known grindcore band from Virginia can make an impact, even if it's not recognized until years later, and especially when those involved weren't even aware that the art they were creating actually meant something to people. ENEMY SOIL — whose various members have gone on to play in bands like CITY OF CATERPILLAR, PIG DESTROYER, AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED, FRODUS, and DRUGS OF FAITH — are gone, but are not even close to being forgotten."Smashes the State Live" is an historical live document of the politically militant and musically chaotic act, as captured during a variety of performances during 1996-1998 and at a 2001 reunion show at CBGB. None of it is anywhere near professionally shot or recorded and the 90s footage is akin to watching camcorder footage of your old band playing in the high school gymnasium. However, the picture clarity is decent and the sound isn't that bad; I've heard and seen much worse. The CBGB show is considerably better from a sound standpoint, although it's far from a stereo recording. Besides, it is not like ENEMY SOIL and/or Selfmadegod Records try to pass the DVD off as some kind of high gloss product. The point is to capture the band's rabid live performance and give the viewer an idea of the energy generated at a show, which "Smashes the State Live" does very well. The DVD also includes an audio-only portion of 10 live-in-the-studio tracks that sound quite good and offer the virgin listener a pretty good idea of what the group is all about. An interview segment would have been nice though. Oh well. As J.R. Hayes (PIG DESTROYER) states in the informative liner notes, "We were raw as a piece of fucking meat". The score is a reflection of the analog recording, not the actual content. Fans won't give a shit about that anyway.
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